BRANCHBURG, N.J. — President Trump on Saturday accused the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, of demonstrating “poor leadership” amid the deepening crisis on the island that was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Trump launched his personal attack on Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz via a morning tweetstorm from his golf resort at Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending the weekend. Cruz on Friday had criticized the Trump administration's response to the hurricane, saying, “I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying.”
In a series of tweets, Trump suggested that the mayor was being manipulated by Democrats to “be nasty to Trump,” and he called on Cruz to have her local officials do more to help the recovery.
Trump, who is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico and possibly the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday, has come under increasing criticism for his administration's response to Maria. For days after the storm, Trump and his top aides were largely silent as residents on the island struggled to acquire food and water amid widespread power outages.
The White House said Trump will make calls to several Puerto Rico officials, including Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, on Saturday afternoon.
In her own tweet, Cruz called on her compatriots to focus on "saving lives" and urged them not to be "distracted by anything else."
Since coming under criticism, the president has lashed out on social media. He blamed the island’s financial woes and ailing infrastructure for the difficult recovery process. He also declared that efforts to provide food, water and medical care were “doing well.”
In his tweets Saturday, Trump praised the military and first responders for “an amazing job.”
But the president also lashed out at “fake news” television networks, which he accused of criticizing federal relief workers as a way to punish him politically.
Trump is expected to visit the President's Cup golf tournament Sunday in Jersey City before returning to Washington.