Trump Goes All In on Puerto Rico Hurricane Fight

Calls response an 'unappreciated great job'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 9:59 AM CDT
Trump, Puerto Rico Officials Take Swings at Each Other
President Trump pumps his fists as he greets supporters after landing at Johnstown-Cambria County Airport on Tuesday in Johnstown, Pa.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump's Tuesday declaration that the federal government's response to Hurricane Maria was "incredibly successful" drew complaints, especially in light of a recent federal report that found nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the 2017 storm. The criticism didn't deter him from doubling down on Wednesday. Trump tweeted, "We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!"

Politico reports Puerto Rico's leaders haven't quietly swallowed Trump's remarks. In what the Hill calls a "scathing statement," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello had this to say on Tuesday: "No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called 'successful' because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states. The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and un-American. It is certainly not a successful relationship." As for the "incompetent" mayor Trump mentioned, Carmen Yulin Cruz tweeted this Tuesday: "Success? Federal response according to Trump in Puerto Rico a success? If he thinks the death of 3,000 people [is] a success God help us all." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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