Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. The island was devastated. Electricity loss and supply shortages are rampant. The island needs help. These people are Americans. Those are uncontroversial points. Yet, there’s now a war between President Trump and the mayor of San Juan over the response to this natural disaster. Timothy detailed the fallout from Donald Trump’s Twitter fight with Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Of course, Democrats are infuriated over his tweet storm on Saturday:
In an 11-hour period beginning at 7:19 a.m. and ending at 6:46 p.m. Saturday, the President of the United States ripped off 18 -- yes, 18! -- tweets dealing with the dire situation in Puerto Rico following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria.
What's more remarkable than Donald Trump -- aka the commander in chief, aka the most most powerful person in the country -- tapping out 18 tweets on a single subject in less than 12 hours is the tone of those tweets: Negative, defensive and dark.
It all began with Trump's slashing attack on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has become the face of the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico -- thanks in no small part to her interview Friday on CNN's "New Day" in which she angrily denounced attempts by the Trump White House to present the situation in Puerto Rico as a "good news story."
Trump, already worried about the perception that he and his administration have responded inadequately to the situation, responded to Yulin Cruz the only way he knows how: Viciously.
"We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” said Cruz. Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera defended Trump in his interview with Cruz, with him pushing Cruz on the claim that people are dying. He’s seen destruction on the island, but no one dying. Yet, little by little we’re seeing how this is becoming a political sideshow. Another Puerto Rican mayor said that the Cruz has been absent in the meetings between island officials, the U.S. Military, and FEMA, with the island’s former attorney general saying she’s nothing but a political hack who is preparing her gubernatorial run (via The Hill):
Former Puerto Rico Attorney General Jose Fuentes on Sunday took aim at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, accusing her of attacking President Trump and using hurricane relief efforts to lay the groundwork for a gubernatorial bid.
"The mayor of San Juan is a political hack," Fuentes said on CNN's "New Day."
Fuentes accused Cruz of making an about-face, saying she supported Trump until her political adviser suggested the idea of running for governor.
"She is singing the praises of the president until her political adviser, [Rep.] Luis Gutiérrez from Chicago, got there and brought her the t-shirts and said, 'Hey you want to run for governor, if she wants to run," he continued until the anchor cut him off, pointing to audio issues.
The president launched a series of tweets attacking Cruz early Saturday, accusing the mayor of exhibiting poor leadership in the midst of the recovery efforts and claiming Puerto Rican leaders want the federal government to do everything for them.
Liberal Maria Cardona then went into a tirade over the suggestion that Cruz was possibly plotting a gubernatorial run with these attacks on Trump. Still, Ms. Cruz sort of admitted that she isn’t sitting in on the meetings. It’s something that she’s staffed out, which is not the same. On the media front, the anti-Trump media is working overtime trying to turn this into ‘Trump’s Katrina.’
If there’s one area of federal red tape that has been cut by Trump, it’s the Jones Act. The early 20th century law that said all goods transported between U.S. ports must be on ships that are manned and built by Americans. As USA Today and CNN Money pointed out, that policy has hurt the island for decades since it makes goods much more expensive.