Tags: san juan | mayor carmen yuliz cruz | silenced | white house | conference call | puerto rico relief

San Juan Mayor: I Was Silenced on WH Conference Call on PR Relief

San Juan Mayor: I Was Silenced on WH Conference Call on PR Relief
(Carolyn Cole/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 October 2017 12:02 PM

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said she was invited to be on a White House conference call regarding relief efforts in Puerto Rico, but was not allowed to speak, The Independent reported.

Cruz, the chief antagonist to President Donald Trump over the response to the U.S. territory in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, rebuffed the White House's assertion that she was invited to "participate" in the call with Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert.

"I was invited to participate in a conference via a text," Cruz told the Independent. "I did. When I went into the call it said, 'You are allowed in a listening capacity only' … so I listened."

Cruz has been involved in a contentious back and forth with Trump over the feds' response to Puerto Rico's predicament. It started when the mayor rebuked the Department of Homeland Security last week over comments that relief efforts were a "good news story."

Cruz said it wasn't good news, saying instead it was a "life or death story," a point the mayor reiterated to the Independent.

"This is the reality, it is not hyperbole," Cruz told the Independent.

Trump wasn't pleased with that response last week, saying in a tweetstorm that Puerto Ricans "want everything to be done for them." Later came the "ingrates" comment, which set off the mayor even more.

"I know how the America people are good-hearted people, they are friendly people, they are courageous people who when they see someone who needs their help they run to them," Cruz told the Independent. "And I think that the Trump administration really doesn't reflect those values, by tweeting that we should have paid our debt, by tweeting that we want everything done by others, by tweeting that we are ingrates."

Trump will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and Cruz does not expect an audience with the president.

"I have mouths to feed and frankly, sir … you can insult me all you want. I can take it," Cruz told the Independent.

"I respect the office of the presidency of the United States, but I expect whoever holds it to respect the people I represent. … Talking about ingrates, to me that is an insult, it is indignity and perhaps I will accomplish more out on the streets saving lives."

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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said she was invited to be on a White House conference call regarding relief efforts in Puerto Rico, but was not allowed to speak, The Independent reported.
san juan, mayor carmen yuliz cruz, silenced, white house, conference call, puerto rico relief
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2017-02-03
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 12:02 PM
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