Trump Attacks Media, Democrats And Mayor During Hurricane Relief Effort

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump attacked Democrats, the news media, and the mayor of San Juan Saturday as Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” Trump tweeted. He went on to write several more tweets, with some including attacks on the “fake news media.”

Many in Puerto Rico, an American territory, still lack running water, electricity and food since Maria struck the island over a week ago. Over 10,000 federal relief workers are on the island, and Puerto Rico’s governor has praised the federal government’s relief efforts.

However, as Trump tweeted, the president has received sharp criticism in the press and from the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s largest city.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said Friday. “I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell.”

The mayor said in a Saturday interview that she didn’t mean to say anything “nasty” about Trump.

“Gen. Buchanan, a three-star general, has said that he doesn’t have enough troops and he doesn’t have enough equipment,” Yulin Cruz said on MSNBC. “So who am I? I’m just a little mayor from the capital of San Juan. This is a three-star general saying he doesn’t have the appropriate amount of tools.”

Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan was named Thursday as the commander overseeing relief efforts. He pushed back against criticism in a Friday interview that his deployment was a symbolic one after a failed response from the federal government.

“That’s absolutely inaccurate,” Buchanan told U.S. News. “It’s certainly not a symbolic thing. As the land component commander, we’re now shifting to a more land-based response, so it’s appropriate that my command is appointed command for it.”

Thousands of cargo containers have been sent to Puerto Rico filled with supplies and food, however, blocked roads and a lack of truck drivers have made it difficult to distribute the goods.

Eighteen people have been confirmed dead in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.