Trump slams Puerto Rico mayor for ‘poor leadership’, says ‘they’ want everything ‘done for them’

(ABC News) — President Donald Trump slammed the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city for “poor leadership” a day after the mayor criticized a Trump administration official’s positive assessment of the situation in the hurricane-ravaged U.S. territory.

Trump also suggested politics lay at the heart of the critical comments by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, claiming that she has “been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”

He suggested officials or people on the island — it is not clear exactly who the president is referring to — are not doing enough themselves to recover from the crisis left by Hurricane Maria, that “they want everything to be done for them.”

Trump praised military and first responders for the relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

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The president’s criticism of the San Juan mayor drew a strong response from some on Twitter, including famed “Hamilton” creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Addressing Trump directly, Miranda said Cruz “has been working 24/7” while “you have been golfing.”

Trump sent his tweets Saturday from his golf club in New Jersey.

Following Trump’s tweets this morning, a senior White House official was asked whether the president will meet with Cruz when he visits the U.S. territory Tuesday.

The White House official said, “Not sure. She has been invited to FEMA command center several times to see operations and be part of efforts but so far has refused to come, maybe too busy doing TV?”

Trump’s criticism of Cruz comes after the mayor’s widely-publicized rebuke Friday of acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke’s calling the situation in Puerto Rico, with relief efforts progressing, “a good news story.”

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Duke on Friday afternoon added to her assessment earlier in the week, saying that while she is “proud” of the federal response to the destruction on the island, the situation on the ground is still “not satisfactory.”

Prior to the acting secretary’s remarks Friday afternoon, Cruz slammed her earlier comments. “This is not a good news story. This is a people-are-dying story,” Cruz said in an interview on CNN on Friday morning.

“Maybe from where she’s standing, it’s a good news story. When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story,” Cruz said. “I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me.”

The mayor also said she had a “message” for Trump, asking him to “step up” relief efforts for the “entire island of Puerto Rico,” not just the capital of San Juan.

“This is a message for President Trump: Thank you for calling San Juan yesterday and listening for our mayday call. There are 77 other towns that are waiting anxiously and will be very grateful to you and to the American people if you continue to step up to the moral imperative that you have taken on all over the world to help those in need. So help us,” Cruz said.

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Trump on Saturday morning also criticized the media, claiming that the “Fake News Networks” are disparaging the relief work of soldiers and first responders on the island.

 

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