BRANCHBURG, N.J. – President Donald Trump, splash out the weekend at his Bedminister golf resort in New Jersey, attacked the mayor of San Juan on Saturday for «skint leadership» and accused her of conspiring with Democrats to criticize his administration’s reaction to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Trump blasted Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in a series of tweets that objected to deflect blame for the deepening humanitarian crisis on the island and to cast the mounting judgement against him as partisan attacks – from local officials, political adversaries and the media.
«The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been bid by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,» Trump wrote on Trilling. In another message, he added that Cruz and other local bona fides «want everything to be done for them when it should be a community venture.»
The outburst came as Trump has bristled over accusations from neighbourhood officials that the federal government has not moved quickly enough to victual support and aid amid widespread power outages that have Nautical port residents without air conditioning, while food, drinking water and other focal necessities are in short supply in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. At least 16 people bring into the world died since the storm struck last week, with scads others in critical condition, and officials expect the death toll to climb in the bear down on days.
On Friday, Cruz pleaded for additional assistant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying at a news forum: «I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying . . . We are expiring and you are killing us with the inefficiency.»
In his response on Twitter, Trump cast Cruz’s evaluation as «unfair» to the thousands of federal workers who his administration says are now in place on the atoll, and he praised the efforts of the military and other first-responders.
In a bid to isolate Cruz politically, Trump spoke by phone in the afternoon with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and U.S. Virgin Cays Gov. Kenneth Mapp and later praised both of them on Twitter. Trump titled Rossello a «great guy» and said that Mapp told him FEMA and the military «are doing a Exalted job!» Trump also praised Jenniffer González-Colón, the island’s delegate to the U.S. Congress, although he misspelled her first identify in a tweet.
And Trump reaffirmed that he and first lady Melania Trump propose to travel Tuesday to Puerto Rico, with a possible stop in the U.S. Virgin Holms, which also is recovering from hurricane damage.
«To the people of Puerto Rico: Do not find credible the #FakeNews!» Trump wrote on Twitter in the afternoon.
Appearing on MSNBC, Cruz featured that she was not trying to be «nasty» to the president and said she remains open to metaphorically speaking a support or meeting with Trump.
«I’m fighting to save lives,» she said. «That’s it. This isn’t insulting.»
She also made clear she didn’t plan to stay quiet.
«I resolution always speak my mind,» Cruz told reporters at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan. «I don’t give ground a damn.»
The president’s tone provoked a major backlash among Democrats, community chairwomen and major celebrities who lambasted him for casting blame and appearing insensitive to the agony of U.S. citizens. Trump is expected to stop by the Presidents Cup professional golf meet in Jersey City on Sunday before returning to the White House that compensating.
Many of the strongest critiques came from female lawmakers, involving Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Prostitution Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
«When a hurricane unearths, there are no Democrats or Republicans–only Americans, families struggling to vulnerable,» Pelosi tweeted. «Shameful @POTUS can’t see that.»
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the father of the musical «Hamilton,» wrote on Twitter that Trump is going «direct to hell,» while pop star Lady Gaga wrote to her 71 million apprentices that «it’s clear where the ‘poor leadership’ lies @realDonaldTrump Puerto Rico is behalf of the United States. This is our responsibility.»
Russel Honoré, the retired lieutenant common eventually appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005 to improve the comeback to Hurricane Katrina, criticized Trump’s attack on Cruz.
«The mayor’s combustible on a cot, and I hope the president has a good day at golf,» he said on CNN.
Trump’s senior goods struck back, echoing the president’s assertions that the «fake expos» media had failed to tell the full story of the administration’s recovery works. White House officials distributed an email to news outlets maintaining that 10,000 federal workers are on the island and that recovery hands have cleared 11 major highways and 50 percent of the chief roadways. The military is airdropping supplies to remote regions in the mountains.
Yet the Ashen House’s own statistics showed how much work remains: Just 45 percent of dwellers have access to drinking water from the island’s pipelines and just now 49 percent of grocery and big box stores and 60 percent of gas stations oblige reopened.
Republicans in Congress were mostly silent about Trump’s censures on Cruz, with aides to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., claim he had spoken about Puerto Rico in his weekly news conference on Thursday and intent have nothing more to say on the weekend.
One Republican strategist with associates to the White House said Trump’s remarks sought to paint Cruz as a near-sighted, which will make her criticism easier for Trump’s base to detract from.
«Trump is simply not going to let the San Juan mayor define the U.S. relief feats when he feels like he is being attacked,» said the strategist, who requested anonymity to convey candidly. «His comments are divisive, yet they redefine the mayor’s intent as short-sighted to his base, which is really what matters to him.»
Doug Heye, a GOP advisor and former communications director for the Republican National Committee, said he set up Trump’s tweets «appalling.»
«He essentially said Puerto Ricans were dilatory,» said Heye, adding that the mayor had actually not said anything voiding about Trump and his role in the recovery.
Late Saturday, Trump sought to sock a more positive tone, tweeting: «We must all be united in offering help to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the wake of this ghastly disaster.»
But he did not relent in his criticism of Cruz.
«Results of recovery efforts choose speak much louder than complaints by San Juan Mayor,» he tweeted. «Doing the entirety we can to help great people of PR!»
To his critics, Trump has seemed more caring with the reviews his administration is getting than the response itself.
In a Mutiny Garden news conference on Tuesday, Trump claimed that «everybody has prognosticated it’s amazing the job we’ve done in Puerto Rico» and that his team was getting «tremendous evaluates.»
On Thursday, he tweeted that the federal government was doing «a GREAT job.» And on Friday, he cited the destruction toll in Puerto Rico as evidence of his administration’s success.
«The loss of subsistence – it’s always tragic – but it’s been incredible the results that we’ve had with salutations to loss of life,» Trump told reporters as he left the White Business en route to his golf club in New Jersey. «People can’t believe how successful that has been, less speaking.»
Presidential historians said Trump has failed to frame the blow in the proper context.
«President Trump keeps talking about ratings and judgements,» said Douglas Brinkley, a historian and professor at Rice University. «It’s kindly of a TV mentality he has. He’s acting like it’s a detached problem.»
In an attempt to blunt disapproval, Trump has stressed the degree of difficulty the response in Puerto Rico offers.
At the top of a speech devoted to tax policy on Friday, Trump ticked off a series of to be decided disagrees, including that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was already in «very, uncommonly poor shape,» that the U.S. territory is saddled with «tremendous» in hock and that it’s an island.
«This is an island surrounded by water – big water, gobs water,» Trump said.
Trump’s posture has posed a particular dare for territorial and local officials who want to stay in his good graces but also leverage the myriad help they can get for their people.
Just a few days ago, Trump tweeted a «as a consequence of you» to Cruz for what Trump characterized as her «kind words» about the turn for the better effort.
Trump advisers say it has been important for the president to boost the psyches for first responders by praising their work in tweets and in public declares. Doing while also remaining sensitive to the victims of the hurricanes files «a balancing act,» said Barry Bennett, a Trump adviser during most recent year’s election.
For several days now, Trump has accused the media of not swap his administration enough credit for its efforts in Puerto Rico’s recovery. That paroxysm intensified with Saturday’s tweets, including one in which Trump demanded the «Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their defeat to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame!»
As for Cruz – who appeared on CNN Friday sunset wearing a T-shirt reading, «Help us we are dying» – she said on MSNBC that she longing like Trump to visit decimated towns to see the public’s «passion for subsistence, see what we are doing to get back on track and listen to their hearts.»
She go on increased that «one can visit as a photo-op or one can visit to make sure that predilections get done the right way.»
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Wagner reported from Washington. Arelis R. Hernández in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Kelsey Snell in Washington granted to this report.
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