Trump criticizes devastated Puerto Rico: “They want everything done for them.”

Trump Criticizes Devastated Puerto Rico: “They Want Everything Done for Them”

Trump Criticizes Devastated Puerto Rico: “They Want Everything Done for Them”

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Sept. 30 2017 9:23 AM

Trump Criticizes Devastated Puerto Rico: “They Want Everything Done for Them”

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Wilson Hernandez and his family rebuild their house destroyed by Hurricane Maria in the neigborhood of Acerolas in Toa Alto, Puerto Rico, on September 26, 2017.

HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

Just because Puerto Rico is still grappling with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria, which includes millions of U.S. citizens struggling to survive without electricity or potable water, doesn’t mean the president won’t lash out if his feelings are hurt. And that’s exactly what the commander in chief did early Saturday morning, hours after the mayor of the island’s capital city, San Juan demanded more help from the federal government.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told reporters on Friday. “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying.” She added that the inefficiency in the relief efforts is “killing us.”

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For Trump, the mayor’s plea for help to deal with a hurricane that undid “decades of economic progress … in 12 hours” was all about politics. What kind of politics? Well, Democrats told the mayor of the devastated city to criticize Trump, according to the president. Yulín Cruz had been “very complimentary only a few days ago” but has now “been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” the president wrote in an early morning tweet Saturday. The commander in chief went on to write that the San Juan mayor "and others" had shown “poor leadership ability” because she was “not able to get their workers to help.” Rather than rolling up their sleeves and getting things done, the island’s leaders “want everything to be done for them.”

Trump also praised the work of the first responders and harshly criticized the “Fake News Networks” that are “working overtime” to demoralize first responders and soldiers.

This spat with the San Juan mayor won’t be preventing the president from traveling to Puerto Rico with First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday to survey the damage.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.