Trump praises FEMA, military for Puerto Rico relief efforts

Posted October 03, 2017

The insult came hours after "Saturday Night Live" portrayed Cruz in a skit highlighting the latest controversy for the 54-year-old former human resources executive, who occupies one of Puerto Rico's most powerful posts and has become something of a divisive figure on the island of 3.4 million residents.

Cruz has been outspoken in asking for more federal aid to Puerto Rico.

At least 16 people were killed by Hurricane Maria when the storm hit last weekend. Trump is out with a series of tweets criticizing Cruz for criticizing the Trump administration's hurricane response.

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz also told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week that with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, the focus should be on "saving lives" and not the US territory's high rate of debt or what it may cost to rebuild.

Trump, who is expected to visit the island Tuesday with his wife Melania Trump, first wrote three tweets Saturday criticizing the "poor leadership" in Puerto Rico, saying local mayors "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

Asked if Cruz wasn't participating in the FEMA effort, Long didn't give a direct answer, but said she "spouts off".

Rosselló, a Democrat, contradicted Cruz Saturday, saying the Trump administration has given the United States territory "whatever we ask for" in the storm's aftermath.

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"Let me stress this: I am committed to collaborating with everybody", he said. "I am done being politically correct". At the time of Trump's tweets, the president was reportedly at his New Jersey golf course.

When the Charlottesville white supremacy rally escalated into deadly violence, Trump spent an unusual amount of time condemning the media for reporting on his response to it.

Cruz complained in multiple interviews about the US administration's response to the crisis in Puerto Rico. And even in the midst of the crisis in Puerto Rico, with the island desperately needing any supplies it can get, and quickly, many have argued that the Jones Act is cutting off Puerto Rico from its necessary aid.

The comment was directed at the mayor of Puerto Rico's largest city San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, who warned the country was facing "something close to a genocide" if the relief efforts were not improved. While Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer told CBS' Face the Nation: "The president, instead of tweeting against the mayor of San Juan, who's watching her people die and just made a plea for help, [should] roll up his sleeves and get to work here". She also drove past still-flooded streets, twisted billboards and roofs with gaping holes, and offered encouragement to some of the emergency personnel the US government has on the ground.

"They just don't have the resources", the mayor said of FEMA. I mean, I think theyre doing what they can, ” he said.

"We have done a great job with the nearly impossible situation in Puerto Rico".