The criticism leveled by San Juan’s mayor against the Trump administration’s hurricane relief response is all about politics and opportunism, which is the assessment of Jose Fuentes, who served as Puerto Rico’s attorney general (Secretary of Justice) from 1997 to 2000.
Fuentes made this claim during a panel discussion on CNN about the disaster in the U.S. territory.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a Democrat who endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, has gotten a lot of play on CNN and elsewhere for insisting that people are dying on the island because of an insufficient federal response, and that more help is needed. President Trump has fired back on Twitter with a series of tweets to counter her allegations, including accusing her of poor leadership.
As the Inquisitr has separately reported, the mayor has apparently been a no-show at the FEMA command center in San Juan where cross-agency officials are coordinating Hurricane Maria recovery following the Category 4 storm that wiped out most of the island’s electrical grid. FEMA administrator Brock Long encouraged the mayor to come to the field office and “get plugged into what’s going on,” the Washington Free Beacon detailed.
Fuentes, a Republican, didn’t hold back in discussing on CNN what he considers a politicized controversy, The Hill chronicled.
“The mayor of San Juan is a political hack…She was praising the president for a week and then Luis Gutierrez gets to Puerto Rico and brings her the T-shirts and says, ‘If you want to run for governor, you need to start criticizing the president.'”
Illinois Congressman Gutierrez is a vocal Trump foe, who is perhaps most well known for supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, and Fuentes apparently was referring to the “we are dying” T-shirt that the mayor wore on TV.
CNN political commentator Maria Cardona registered her strong disagreement about the political angle and immediately fired back with an anti-Trump tirade that nearly included an F-bomb.
Separately, according to CNN, the situation in Puerto Rico is exacerbated because 80 percent of the island’s truck drivers have not returned to work, which is complicating the distribution of relief supplies.
“Thousands of shipping containers full of food, water, and medicines were sitting unused at Puerto Rico’s Port of San Juan.”
Puerto Rico’s current governor, Ricardo A. Rossello, along with other officials, have been far more complimentary and positive about the Trump administration response to the disaster than the San Juan mayor. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday to survey the devastation and the relief efforts, and Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera has offered to arrange a sit-down to help the president and the San Juan mayor get on the same page.
Mayor Cruz’s resume also includes a video praising an FALN terrorist whose sentence was commuted by President Obama before he left office, The Daily Caller claimed.
Watch the CNN clip below featuring Jose Fuentes discussing the political aspirations of the San Juan mayor and draw your own conclusions.
Some Trump supporters suspect that his detractors are trying to turn this into another Katrina scenario. Although not necessarily reported at the time, many pundits now acknowledge that there was a lot of blame to go around after that emergency, including President George W. Bush and his team, plus state and local officials, such as New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who is in jail after a conviction on multiple corruption-related charges, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who did not run for re-election.
Gov. Rossello told the New York Times that the U.S. military and other federal agencies are substantially increasing their footprint on the island.
“People, which we’re getting. Resources, which we’re getting. And fine-tuning the logistics of a new logistical system in Puerto Rico, because the roads have been decimated,” Rossello said. He added that millions of barrels of diesel fuel and gasoline are also on the way.
Do you think that the war of words between President Trump and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz will subside and culminate in both sides coming together in the best interests of Puerto Rico?
[Featured Image by Carlos Giusti/AP Images]