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President Trump doesn't let up on criticism of San Juan mayor

03 October 2017

President Trump has been weirdly sunny in his outlook, telling reporters on Friday that "it's been incredible, the results we've had with respect to loss of life".

President Donald Trump spoke by phone with senior officials in hurricane- devastated Puerto Rico, hours after lashing out at the mayor of San Juan who had pleaded for help and criticised the slow federal response.

"I'm amazed that he has the gall to say Puerto Ricans expect everything to be done for them", said Griselmarie Alemar of Stratford, Connecticut. "They are working so hard, but there's nothing left", he said. "It is a humanity effort".

The President's tweets drew a scorching response from the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Bennie Thompson, who called them "abhorrent", adding that it was "pathetic that the president has chose to attack - with the not so subtle veil of racism and sexism - those desperately begging for his help".

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is answering with her own tweets. Every single day when you can't really believe what's going on, the next day it's something else even more insane and tragic. No long lines for you.

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz speaks with a man at a hospital Saturday in the Rio Piedras area of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as about 35 patients are evacuated after the failure of an electrical plant.

The president spent much of the weekend at his New Jersey golf club and then attended the global golf competition near New York City. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying. "I wasn't saying anything nasty about the president".

But after Trump's blast, she took to Twitter to thank Republican lawmakers who had visited the island.

But instead of focusing on providing aid to the US territory, Trump is trying to peddle Puerto Rico's devastation and dire need for help as a direct attack from all of the groups that he's deemed the opposition, from "fake news" to the Democrats and, now, the "poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan". "Doing everything we can to help great people of PR!"

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Speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Saturday night, Cruz said she's not a Democrat. Our Revolution says she has made San Juan "the first and only municipality" on the island where employees have the right to collective bargaining, made steps towards a local version of a universal health care plan, and is an advocate for gender equality, LGBT rights, and rights for disabled people. "I am not going to be distracted by small comments, by politics, by petty issues".

Puerto Ricans have defended Cruz. "Puerto Rico was totally destroyed". "Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates people are now starting to recognize the awesome work that has been done by FEMA and our great Military", Trump said Sunday on Twitter.

"But again, this is about saving lives", she said.

"Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an unbelievable job is being done in Puerto Rico", he tweeted in a string of posts that praised local leaders who have been kinder in their comments about his performance.

"You're going straight to hell, @realDonaldTrump. I guess he likes to play this Twitter game". Trump said he was not aware of Duke's "good-news" remark. "There's no time for that".

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After going days without mentioning Puerto Rico following Maria, however, administration officials have attempted to play catchup, holding numerous press conferences to describe their relief efforts; Trump now manages to get in a mention of Puerto Rico at almost every public event. "Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates. people are now starting to recognize the fantastic work" done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military, he tweeted. He said 33% of the telecommunications infrastructure is back up and close to 50% of water services have been restored. "And we can't be tired when it comes to our fellow Americans". "But now he's blaming the victim".

President Trump doesn't let up on criticism of San Juan mayor