President Trump slams San Juan mayor, other Puerto Rico leaders



President Trump has earned an express pass to the nether world, according to “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.


The playwright and songwriter said Trump, facing intense criticism for the federal response to Hurricane Maria, is “going straight to hell” after spending Saturday tweeting nearly hourly about media coverage of recovery efforts and accusing Puerto Rican officials of wanting “everything to be done for them.”


Miranda made the proclamation after the President, from the confines of his New Jersey golf resort, shared a snarky personal attack against the mayor of San Juan, accusing her of playing politics after a heartfelt plea for help.


Trump blasted what he calls “such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”

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He added that mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz was “very complimentary only a few days ago,” but “has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”


Miranda, a New Yorker with deep familial roots in Puerto Rico, didn’t mince words in his reaction.

President Trump unloaded on Puerto Rico leaders on Twitter early Saturday.

President Trump unloaded on Puerto Rico leaders on Twitter early Saturday.

(Evan Vucci/AP)


“You’re going straight to hell, @realDonaldTrump. No long lines for you,” the 37-year-old tweeted. “Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They’ll clear a path.”


Miranda is set to release a song on Oct. 6 that he wrote to raise money for Puerto Rico, which was decimated by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

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He wasn’t the only one up in arms over Trump’s attack.


Cruz responded with a series of photos and a simple message: “The goal is one: saving lives. This is the time to show our ‘true colors.’ We cannot be distracted by anything else.”


She included pictures of herself meeting with hurricane victims and rescue workers and wading hip-deep through a flooded street, searching for survivors.

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Hurricane Maria strikes Puerto Rico after pummeling Caribbean


At least 16 people have died in the U.S. territory in the harrowing 10 days since the Category 4 storm roared ashore.

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Residents, left with no electricity, fuel, food and water, have been frustrated by the pace of relief efforts and critics have blamed Trump for the slow federal response.


“I’m a ticking time bomb on the verge of exploding,” said Adeline Vazquez, 53, who needs a ventilator for respiratory problems and whose building in the western city of Mayaguez does not have enough fuel to run a generator 24 hours a day.


More than half of the 3.4 million people who live on the island have no access to drinking water, and 95 percent remain without power, officials said. Many roads remain impassable, making it difficult to get food, water and fuel around the island.


Cruz, who has been living in a shelter since the storm destroyed her home, said Friday that federal aid was coming in too slowly, blasting what she called a bureaucratic bottleneck.

Trump vows to help Puerto Rico with recovery after Maria

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz had criticized the pace of federal aid on Friday.

(Xavier J. Aravɬ?jo / 2016 /AP)


She accused the Trump administration of “killing us with inefficiency,” something the President directly disputed.


“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump tweeted around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.


Trump’s comments drew intense condemnation.


“The tweets this morning are despicable, are deplorable, are not statesman-like at all,” said Puerto Rico-born City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

First flights from Puerto Rico arrive at O’Hare after Maria


“My dad doesn’t have drinkable water and I can’t communicate with him but Trump is disparaging those helping while golfing,” activist Eliel Cruz-Lopez responded.


But the President continued to dismiss the critiques against him Saturday by chalking media reports about the response up to “fake news critics.”


“The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first Rs!” Trump wrote. “Shame!”


The President is set to visit the island on Tuesday.

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Outside of San Juan, there were few signs of federal workers in towns across the island.


Asked why there were not more workers spread around the island, FEMA Administrator Brock Long grew defensive, saying media needed to “start focusing on the progress that has been made.”


Gov. Cuomo told CNN Saturday that the federal government “underestimated the situation and they underestimated the amount of support” that would be needed in light of the catastrophe.


Cruz earned Trump’s ire after she blasted Homeland Security chief Elaine Duke for saying the federal response was a “really good news story.”


“This is a people are dying story,” Cruz responded. “This is a life or death story.”


Duke, after visiting Puerto Rico Friday, agreed that the handling of the crisis “is not satisfactory.”


Army General Jeff Buchanan, placed in charge of coordinating the military response, admitted that the Defense Department needs to send more troops and equipment to handle the devastation.


Buchanan said more medical equipment, helicopters and personnel are on the way, but did not say whether the resources should have been ordered up earlier.


Miranda, meanwhile, pointed out that Trump spent a second straight weekend sequestered at his golf course instead of sorting out additional aid.


“Did you tweet this one from the first hole, 18th hole, or the club?” Miranda responded to one of the President’s tweets.


News Wire Services

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Tags:
donald trump
puerto rico
hurricanes
hurricane maria
carmen yulin cruz
lin-manuel miranda

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