Puerto Rico officials are sending mixed messages about the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
President Trump plans to travel to Puerto Rico on Tuesday once the ports are clear, but it is unknown whether he will meet with the San Juan mayor who has accused him of genocide. When asked if President Trump had plans to meet with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a senior White House Official said, “She has been invited to FEMA command center several times to see operations and be part of efforts but so far as refused to come, maybe too busy doing TV?” The administration does not yet know if Cruz plans to meet with President Trump, according to The Washington Examiner.
Mayor Cruz generated controversy last Friday night when she claimed that President Trump would be guilty of genocide if the logistical problem posed by Hurricane Maria was not addressed.
“We are dying here,” exclaimed Carmen Yulín Cruz at a press conference, as reported by The Guardian. “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. So, mayday, we are in trouble.”
“So, Mr. Trump, I am begging you to take charge and save lives.” The mayor said, apparently referring to President Trump. “If not, the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens, but as animals that can be disposed of,” she threatened, adding, “what we are going to see is something close to a genocide.”
President Trump responded to the mayor’s threats by accusing her of poor leadership.
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” he tweeted.
The president continued, “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job,” in subsequent tweets.
Later in the day, President Trump sent out a tweet accusing the mainstream media of attempting to create a false narrative out of the San Juan mayors loaded accusations.
White House suggests San Juan mayor too busy doing TV to respond to hurricane. Should she be recalled by the voters?
President Trump continued praising the emergency response, “Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump.’ Not fair to FR or effort!”
Mayor Cruz’s charges language, accusing President Trump of genocide, is especially surprising as the Governor of Puerto Rico has only had positive things to say about the federal response.
“I have to say that the administration has responded to our petitions. FEMA, Brock Long, has been on the phone virtually all the time with me, checking out how things are going,” explained Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, according to The Washington Examiner. “The different components of the national guard, military, FEMA and our government are working together on the priorities.”