Trump mayor Puerto Rico Cruz

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr Screengrab via Donald Trump/Twitter

Trump calls mayor of San Juan ‘nasty,’ a poor leader after she pleads for help

'They want everything to be done for them,' Trump said of the U.S. territory.


Jessica Machado


Posted on Sep 30, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 3:45 pm CDT

President Donald Trump attacked the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Twitter Saturday morning, calling her leadership “poor” and alleging that the Democratic Party told her to be “nasty” to him after she called on the White House to help the U.S. territory left in shambles after Hurricane Maria.

“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump tweeted.

On Friday, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz made several pleas for the U.S. government to help Puerto Rico, where people without food, water, and power are “dying,” saying they could “see something close to genocide.”

“If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying,” she said at a press conference. “And you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy.”

Cruz also called out FEMA, saying, “I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long.” She then addressed President Trump himself: “We are not as second-class citizens, but as animals that can be disposed of.”

Since the hurricane touched down on Puerto Rico a week and a half ago, the president has been sparse in his vocal support, spending much of last weekend tweeting about NFL protests and saying on Friday that the relief efforts have been hindered because the country is “surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water.”

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who was called on by the Pentagon to lead hurricane relief efforts on Thursday, has said that what is currently being done for Puerto Rico isn’t enough. After much pressure, the White House also announced a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act, lifting the shipping restrictions into U.S. ports, and thus allowing food and supplies to be brought into Puerto Rico.

Twitter was afire last night with retweets of Cruz’s pleas for help and her claim that this “not a good news story”—a rebuttal to what Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke had said about the U.S. government’s response to Puerto Rico.

During his tweet attacks this morning, Trump called NBC and CNN “fake news” for reporting Cruz’s cries for more aid.

Trump also tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump are planning to be in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

It seems the “big ocean” won’t be in the way then.

Update 11:30am CT, Sept. 30: Cruz responded to Trump’s Twitter attacks on MSNBC this morning, telling Joy Reid, “This is what we have, it is one goal: it is to save lives. I have no time for distractions. All I have is time for people to move forward and get help.”

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*First Published: Sep 30, 2017, 8:49 am CDT