San Juan mayor accepts invitation to Trump briefing
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Tuesday she will accept an invitation to attend a briefing with President Donald Trump in the Puerto Rican city during his visit.
“I have accepted the invitation on behalf of the people of San Juan and out of respect for the American people represented by the office of the President of the United States,” Yulín Cruz said, according to a statement released by her spokesman, Jose Cruz.
Trump attacked 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 spent 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.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Trump appeared to soften his criticism, saying Yulín Cruz “acknowledged” the work the White House has done on the island.
“Well I think she’s come back a long way,” he said. “I think it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done. And people are looking at that. In Texas and in Florida, we get an A-plus. I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico and it’s actually a much tougher situation … Whether it’s her or anybody else, they’re all starting to say it.”
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.
In an interview with MSNBC, Yulín Cruz said she wasn’t making “nasty comments” about Trump, 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.”
Yulín Cruz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Saturday that she works out of a building that has two Federal Emergency Management Agency envoys and she feels there had been sufficient cooperation.