While residents of Puerto Rico struggle to get access to basic necessities like potable water and food, President Donald Trump has launched a full-fledged attack on the news media and, even more concerning, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in almost a century, destroyed the island's electricity infrastructure and left many without phone connections. At least 16 people on the island were killed, and there was widespread damage to homes, roads and infrastructure.
As President Donald Trump continues firing off tweets that praise the highly criticized US response to a growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, other members of his administration are pushing a positive public relations campaign to contradict harrowing on-the-ground reports, according a memo leaked to Axios Sunday morning.
Trump's latest tweets sought to defend Washington's attentiveness to recovery efforts on a US territory in dire straits nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck.
Mr. Trump lashed out at Cruz on Twitter Saturday morning for her criticism of his administration's response.
Cruz, in response, said later Saturday morning that she'll "continue to do whatever I have to do" to get federal hurricane assistance.
Appearing on television on Sunday, Cruz explained that "there's only one goal, and it's saving lives", adding that all she did "was ask for help".
"Sometimes you have to shake the tree in order to make things happen", she told the New York Times.
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Even though local officials had said publicly as early as September 20, the day of the storm, that the island was "destroyed", the sense of urgency didn't begin to penetrate the White House until Monday, when images of the utter destruction and desperation - and criticism of the administration's response - began to appear on television, one senior administration official said...
He characterized the president as speaking from his fancy golf club, playing golf with his billionaire friends, attacking the mayor of San Juan, who is struggling to bring electricity, food, water and gas to the island. But on Wednesday, an army veteran told NPR that Puerto Rico needs 50,000. "I am done being politically correct". The president spent Saturday ensconced in his New Jersey golf club and on Sunday attended an worldwide golf competition near New York City.
Trump's comments drew swift condemnation on the mainland. Cruz, who has been living in a shelter after her home was destroyed in the hurricane, is at the forefront of efforts to help Puerto Rico recover from the destruction created by the storm more than a week ago.
He also tweeted: "Just spoke to Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job!"
Trump faces hard weeks, if not months, in managing the USA territory.
'Before we start the show, let's all take a knee, ladies and gentleman, 'the HBO late-night host said.
He dedicated the Cup trophy to victims of Maria and this summer's previous major hurricanes Irma and Harvey, "all of those people that went through so much, that we love".
The eternal question: Is he playing eight-dimensional chess in feuding with the mayor or just being irascibly insecure?