President Trump is facing widespread backlash after he tried to claim Tuesday that his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year was “an incredible unsung success,” in response to questions about what we could learn from Hurricane Maria as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas coast.
President Donald Trump: “The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working along with the governor, in Puerto Rico, I think, was tremendous. I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.”
Hurricane Maria killed up to 3,000 people—if not more—making it the deadliest storm in U.S. history. This is San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, responding to Trump.
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz: “The world has seen, and the majority of the American people have seen, how neglectful he was towards the people of Puerto Rico. If he calls a success, or an unsung success, 3,000 people dying on his watch, definitely he doesn’t know what success is.”
Trump once again attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, tweeting: “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!” But it wasn’t only the mayor who criticized Trump. His ally, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló, also attacked Trump, saying, “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.” Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria faced even more criticism Wednesday after the publication of new photos showing millions of bottles of water meant for hurricane victims still sitting unused on a tarmac nearly a year after the hurricane made landfall.