Political News

The Latest: Trump dismisses 'ingrates' over Puerto Rico

Posted October 1

— The Latest on President Donald Trump and Puerto Rico (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is dismissing those he calls "politically motivated ingrates" who've questioned his administration's commitment to rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Trump says in tweets that the federal government has done "a great job with the almost impossible situation."

The president has spent much of the weekend at his New Jersey golf club and is attending an international golf competition near New York City

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says Trump should stop wasting time attacking Puerto Rico officials who are seeking hurricane relief and "roll up his sleeves and get to work."

Trump is set to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.


2 p.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump should stop wasting time attacking Puerto Rico officials who are seeking hurricane relief and "roll up his sleeves and get to work."

The New York senator tells CBS' "Face the Nation" there's no question the administration's initial response to Hurricane Maria was "slow-footed, disorganized and not adequate." He says San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz was making a plea for help when she criticized Trump for not doing enough. Schumer says Trump should focus on helping Puerto Rico instead of tweeting against Cruz, "who's watching her people die."

Schumer also criticized Trump for waiting nearly two weeks to visit Puerto Rico, noting the president had traveled to Texas twice in that time when Harvey struck.

Trump visits Puerto Rico on Tuesday.


12:15 p.m.

White House officials are defending President Donald Trump's attacks on the mayor of Puerto Rico's devastated capital city, and they say the administration is doing all it can to help victims of Hurricane Maria.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney says the public needs to "judge us by the actions, please" in terms of efforts to help Puerto Rico.

He says Trump was responding after San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz criticized him for not doing enough — when in fact, Mulvaney says, "the progress is there, and the effort is there."

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) says Cruz's comments were "unfair" and that "when the president gets attacked, he attacks back."

Mnuchin says the entire Trump administration is "very much focused" on helping Puerto Rico.


9:50 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is criticizing President Donald Trump's attacks on the mayor of devastated Puerto Rico's largest city, calling his words "unspeakable."

The Vermont lawmaker says on CNN that Trump's tweeting from his "fancy golf club" in New Jersey attacking San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz "is unspeakable. And I don't know what world Trump is living in."

Trump on Saturday criticized Cruz's "poor leadership ability" and accused some of Puerto Rico of wanting "everything to be done for them."

Sanders is also suggesting that Trump may care less about helping the people of Puerto Rico because of their race.

Sanders says that, due to some of Trump's past comments, he thinks "we have a right to be suspect that he is treating the people of Puerto Rico in a different way than he has treated the people of Texas or Florida."


9:15 a.m.

The leader of Puerto Rico's capital city says she knows "the good heart of the American people and I know that when a mayday sound goes off, they come to the rescue."

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has accused the Trump administration of "killing us with the inefficiency" after Hurricane Maria struck the island. And her criticism has led to a verbal fight with President Donald Trump

But Cruz tells ABC's "This Week" that "there's only one goal, and it's saving lives." She says all she did "was ask for help."

Trump is planning to visit the U.S. territory on Tuesday. Cruz says that "if he asks to meet with me, of course I would meet with him."


8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump says his administration has "done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico" after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

He's going after what he calls "politically motivated ingrates" and says "people are now starting to recognize the amazing work" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military.

The mayor of the island's capital city has complained about a slow response to the disaster. And that's led to some strong words back from the president.


12:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is criticizing the media and praising his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in a battered Puerto Rico.

This is after accusing the San Juan mayor of poor leadership and being unable to get workers to help the U.S. territory recover.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is answering with her own tweets. She declined to engage in the tit for tat, but instead called for a united focus on the people who need help

Trump's tweets were a biting attack on the leader of a community in crisis. After more than a week of desperation, many were still unable to access essentials including food and water.


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