Trump lashes out at San Juan mayor who begged for more help

Phillip Cunningham
October 3, 2017

"He continued:" ... The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes.

"I want the world to know there's a lot of old people here in Puerto Rico".

A sign that reads in spanish, Playita (neighborhood), need water and food, SOS, is seen Baldorioty de Castro highway, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept 30, 2017.

He told MSNBC Thursday that he has been briefed by high-ranking officials in Puerto Rico who say things are dire.

While President Trump touted the government's effort Friday, San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz blasted the lack of progress.

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20 as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 miles per hour, the strongest to hit the island in a century.

Unlike a week ago, when the President spent much of his weekend tweeting about whether players in the NFL and other major sports should stand for the National Anthem, Mr. Trump's schedule for this Saturday had a series of calls related to the Maria response.

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) - After witnessing a desperate call for help on ABC News from a caretaker at a Puerto Rico nursing home devastated by Hurricane Maria, a Florida man chartered his company's private jet to bring critical supplies to the home's residents.

In a speech Friday, President Trump said there's a "massive federal mobilization" underway to make sure supplies are transported to where they're needed most.

Despite the myriad of logistical challenges, Trump has repeatedly applauded the first responders for "doing a fantastic job".

"I know the good heart of the American people and I know that when a mayday sound goes off, they come to the rescue, " she said on ABC's "This Week".

"We are dying here". While less acidic than those a day earlier that drew a strong backlash, the tweets signaled that Trump is comfortable keeping the furor alive - days before he is to visit the island on Tuesday.

"They are working so hard, but there's nothing left", he said.

Mr. Trump lashed out at Cruz on Twitter Saturday morning for her criticism of his administration's response.

"If he asks to meet with me, of course I will meet with him", she said.

"The Administration and the President, every time we've spoken, they've delivered", Mr. Trump tweeted. For example, she said, people were being told to register online for aid, but very few have access to the internet.

Cruz's comments on Friday were in response to a senior USA official calling the disaster response in Puerto Rico "a good news story". It is unclear if he was praising first responders again or others in the USA territory. "They still have not gotten to the people that need to receive them", Medina said. Puerto Rico, too, was picking up after Irma's damage even as Maria slammed it.

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