Tags: Disaster Planning | Donald Trump | Media Bias | Trump Administration | san juan | puerto rico | mayor

San Juan Mayor Rips Trump as 'Miscommunicator-in-Chief'

(CNN's "Newsroom")

By    |   Tuesday, 03 October 2017 07:43 PM

San Juan's mayor slammed President Donald Trump as "miscommunicator-in-chief" Tuesday after his comments about storm-damaged Puerto Rico's impact on the national budget during his visit to the island.

"I think his staff understands now and they have all the data they need," Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has long attacked the administration's response to the crisis, told CNN.

"But I would hope that the president of the United States stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico, because rather than commander-in-chief he sort of becomes miscommunicator-in-chief."

Trump earlier Tuesday referenced Puerto Rico's impact on the federal budget as the island works to rebuild after Hurricane Maria.

"Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico," Trump said at a Federal Emergency Management Agency site on the island. "And that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives."

Yulín Cruz said the president's remarks proved "the lack of sensibility."

"You're coming to a place where people are expecting you to be comforted and are expecting you, frankly, to speak as to which actions are going to happen.

"That doesn't make you feel good.

"This is about two things: It's about respect for the Puerto Rican people — and it's about saving lives."

Yulín Cruz said she met Trump briefly at the FEMA site, telling him: "Mr. President, this is about saving lives, not politics.

"That's the only interaction I had.

"The productive part of the meeting was the second part when we got to meet with White House staff," she added.

"I truly believe that they finally saw the connection — or the disconnect — based on what they were hearing on the one hand and the reality of what is happening on the ground."

Yulín Cruz said she met with staffers from FEMA, the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration in the second session, asking — for instance — the $350 million that has been collected to pay for Puerto Rico's debt be returned for relief efforts.

"We don't have phone lines, so don't keep telling people to just register on the phone," she said.

Yulín Cruz was optimistic White House staffers understood the scope of the problems facing Puerto Rico after the hurricane.

"I saw a real connection between the reality and the White House staff," she said. "I think that they finally understood."

The mayor, however, was more cautious about President Trump.

"I sure hope so," she said when asked whether he fully appreciated the damage caused by Maria. "But, sometimes, his foul communication gets in the way.

"We would have all preferred — and I'm speaking for myself — to just have him hear from us about the reality on the ground versus 'Alice in Wonderland' and back to reality."

Trump later posted this tweet praising relief efforts:

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San Juan's mayor slammed President Donald Trump as "miscommunicator-in-chief" Tuesday after his comments about storm-damaged Puerto Rico's impact on the national budget during his visit to the island.
san juan, puerto rico, mayor, carmen yulin cruz
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2017-43-03
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 07:43 PM
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