The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, condemned President Donald Trump amid reports that he plans to cut back funding for disaster relief, following the damage done by Hurricane Maria in 2017, ABC7 Chicago is reporting. Cruz met with Reverend Jesse Jackson in Chicago on November 15 and thanked him for helping set up a supply trip that donated food and water among other things. President Trump, however, received a more strongly-worded message from the San Juan mayor.
“The President of the United states, every time he speaks ill of Puerto Rico, he manifests his incompetence, his ignorance, and his inability to be Commander in Chief,” said Cruz. “He needs to, for the sake of the world, in the next two years, start to understand what his role is, start to understand what leadership is all about.”
Trump stated earlier this year that the United States government’s aid to Puerto Rico “was an incredible unsung success.” Cruz, however, feels that the Trump administration is not doing their best to help the island recover. Over a year later, Puerto Rico is still extremely fragile from the damage caused by the Category 5 hurricane.
“There’s still about 45,000 families that have rooftops that are blue roofs or tarps,” Cruz explained. “So in the next (weakest) of hurricanes they will have to be evacuated.”
According to the Huffington Post, Trump tweeted in October that Puerto Rico was misusing the funds provided to them and were spending the money on things other than hurricane relief.
“The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful the but inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations,” the tweet read. “The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!”
There is no current evidence to support this allegation, and Cruz vehemently denied Trump’s accusation by responding on Twitter, stating that none of the relief money donated to them will be used to pay off their debts.
This is not the first time that Cruz and Trump have publicly butted heads. Official reports say that at least 2,975 were killed due to Hurricane Maria, but Trump denied this death toll on Twitter, claiming Democrats were reporting larger numbers to make him look bad. Cruz tweeted an angry response that read “YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!”
Trump maintains that Puerto Rico has a corrupt government that is mishandling the money that was given them to repair the island.