Donald Trump lashed out at the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city Saturday morning and accused her of having “poor leadership ability.” The president’s Twitter rant aimed at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz came as Puerto Rico was in the midst of a humanitarian crisis following severe damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria.
In a series of tweets sent while Trump was visiting his New Jersey golf resort, the president criticized Yulín Cruz for “not being able to get workers help” and he applauded the federal workers on the island for their efforts.
After catching wind of Trump’s statements, Yulín Cruz tweeted that it wasn’t a time for any distractions, especially when people’s lives were at stake.
Yulín Cruz said she was dismayed at Trump’s team trying to spin the narrative about what is happening in Puerto Rico after Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke referred to the federal help as a “good news story.”
“This is, damn it, this is not a good news story,” Yulín Cruz told CNN. “This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life-or-death’ story. This is, ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.”
After the hurricane hit Puerto Rico more than a week ago, Trump’s administration has come under fire for its slow response towards relief efforts. Many people believed that he was quicker to extend help to the individuals impacted by this summer’s hurricanes that occurred in Florida and Texas than he has been for those living in Puerto Rico.
Many people in Puerto Rico were left without electricity and water. Government officials have reported at least 16 deaths. Trump was expected to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.