WASHINGTON, DC — It’s tweet & delete for Mr. Twitter Fingers.
President Trump launched an attack on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Saturday for criticizing the White House’s hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, accusing her of “poor leadership” and suggesting that the island’s residents are not doing enough to help themselves.
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” the President tweeted from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending the weekend. “… 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. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
He’s since deleted the tweet… which for many, is just as shocking. But of course, we all took a screen grab.
In the series of early morning tweets, Trump again lauded the federal government’s response on the island, which is still grappling with the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria. The President said that the 10,000 federal workers there are doing a “fantastic job.”
“The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job,” he wrote. “Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.”
The spectacle of Trump’s comments slamming Yulín Cruz and others on their own response efforts as Puerto Rico struggles to deal with disaster that left millions without power and with limited access to water — and as Trump comes under fire for what some have called a slow federal reaction — sparked a firestorm of reaction online, including from the creator of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, who said that Trump was going “straight to hell.”
“You’re going straight to hell, @realDonald Trump. No long lines for you,” tweeted Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent. “Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They’ll clear a path.”
Trump’s early praise of relief efforts does not appear to match the reality on the ground. Puerto Rico, which is home to 3.4 million people, is facing a humanitarian crisis, and many of its people remain without power and water. Sixteen people have died, according to government officials, but that number could well rise with the full range of devastation not yet known.
In an interview with MSNBC, Yulín Cruz said she wasn’t making “nasty comments” about Trump in remarks earlier this week criticizing the administration’s statements lauding the response, adding that her only goal was to save lives.
“I was asking for help,” she said. “I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the President.”
Trump’s comments come ahead of a planned visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday.