Trump keeps praising response to Puerto Rico crisis, blasts “politically motivated ingrates.”

Trump Can’t Stop Praising Response to Puerto Rico Crisis, Blasts “Politically Motivated Ingrates”

Trump Can’t Stop Praising Response to Puerto Rico Crisis, Blasts “Politically Motivated Ingrates”

The Slatest
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Oct. 1 2017 10:45 AM

Trump Keeps Praising Response to Puerto Rico Crisis, Blasts “Politically Motivated Ingrates”

Puerto-Rico-Faces-Extensive-Damage-After-Hurricane-Maria
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (R) hugs Esperanza Ruiz as she arrives at the temporary government center setup at the Roberto Clemente stadium in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on September 30, 2017 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump woke up Sunday morning apparently still angry at all the criticism his administration has received for being slow to respond to the humanitarian crisis engulfing Puerto Rico (maybe he watched Saturday Night Live?). So he took to Twitter. Yet again.

On Saturday, the commander in chief sent a whopping 18 tweets about Puerto Rico but his defensive and angry day-long screed was apparently not enough to get his feelings across so he was at it again Sunday morning, blasting critics and praising his own administration.

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“We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote on Sunday. The president added that besides “Fake News or politically motivated ingrates” everyone is starting to “recognize the amazing work that has been done.”

Trump also thanked the governor of Puerto Rico and “all of those who are working so closely with our first responders.”

The praise for Puerto Rico’s governor continued a theme from Saturday when the president praised the work of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló shortly after criticizing the mayor of the island’s capital, San Juan. Trump said San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz had been “told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.” He described the mayor as one of the leaders in the U.S. territory who “want everything to be done for them.” The president also dedicated several tweets to pushing back against what he described as “fake news” about the response to Hurricane Maria, which killed at least 16 people in the U.S. territory.

Despite the criticism, Yulín Cruz told ABC’s This Week that she would meet with Trump when he visits the island Tuesday if she is invited. “If he asks to meet with me, of course I will meet with him,” she said. For now, the mayor said, the focus needs to be on saving lives. “Let us not talk about the debt, let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction, let’s just talk about saving lives right now,” Cruz said. “You put the people above the debt. People’s lives and avoiding death above the debt. That’s just how it’s done.”

Trump’s tweets led to lots of criticism from both politicians and celebrities who are more used to leaders putting aside partisan differences at times of crisis. Sen. Bernie Sanders, for example, called Trump’s tweets “unspeakable” in an interview Sunday. “You know, speaking from his fancy golf club, playing golf with his billionaire friends, attacking the mayor of San Juan who is struggling to bring electricity to the island, food to the island, water to the island, gas to the island. It is unspeakable. And I don’t know what world Trump is living in,” Sanders said on CNN’s State of the Union.

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