Economy

Under Fire, Trump Blames Puerto Ricans For Slow Hurricane Response

Under Fire, Trump Blames Puerto Ricans For Slow Hurricane Response

President Donald Trump lashed out at "ingrates" criticizing the federal government's response to hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, while his homeland security adviser issued an internal memo about how the administration can best shape its messaging.

The Vermont lawmaker says on CNN that Trump's tweeting from his "fancy golf club" in New Jersey attacking San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz "is unspeakable".

In the shadow of the recent devastating hurricane season in the area, USA territory Puerto Rico has been left practically completely destroyed, with running water, access to food and any type of communication completely dismantled for the majority of the island's population. Trump said he will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday. "10,000 Federal workers on island doing a fantastic job".

Trump also thanked the governor of Puerto Rico and "all of those who are working so closely with our first responders".

Trump's suggestion that some Puerto Ricans did not want to work also appeared likely to stoke resentment at a time when numerous island's first responders, desperately working to keep their own families alive, have been unable to join in the larger relief effort.

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At the news conference on Friday, Cruz said, "I am done being polite".

"Carmen has been going door to door helping her own community", adds Alemar, whose family is still in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. "I mean, the mayor is reacting to a very chaotic situation in Puerto Rico".

"If we don't get the food and the water into people's hands what we are going to see is something close to a genocide", she said. She said relief efforts by FEMA continue to fall short of the needs for San Juan's population of some 350,000.

Trump on Saturday criticized Cruz's "poor leadership ability" and accused some of Puerto Rico of wanting "everything to be done for them".

Numerous others have been scathing in their criticism, pointing out that the "workers" Trump addressed are US citizens who are struggling to rebuild after a crisis with limited food, water and electricity supplies. Of course President Trump Tweeted this from the golf course, where he's enjoying some R&R this weekend.

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Sanders is also suggesting that Trump may care less about helping the people of Puerto Rico due to their race.

As the days pass since Hurricane Maria ripped across Puerto Rico, television reports increasingly echo those after Katrina a dozen years ago in sounding the alarm for a desperate population frustrated by the pace of relief efforts.

As Elaine Duke landed in Puerto Rico, Friday, Trump described the island as completely devastated. "That will help in terms of getting electricity both in transmission and distribution but they need a lot more help right now until they get on their feet", she said.

"Dammit, this is not a good news story", Cruz responded with shock and anger. She also said that aid from various sources had increased to Puerto Rico on Saturday morning.

That default divisiveness makes Trump different than every person who has held the office before him.

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Mr. Trump's weekend tweets have shown him to be contemptuous of any complaints of a laggard United States response to the natural disaster that has imperiled the island's future.


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