San Juan mayor says focus needs to be on ‘saving lives,’ not Puerto Rico’s debt

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, whom President Donald Trump slammed on Twitter for “poor leadership,” said she would meet with the president when he visits the island Tuesday if she is invited to do so.

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz also told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, the focus should be on “saving lives” and not the U.S. territory’s high rate of debt or what it may cost to rebuild.

“Let us not talk about the debt; let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction. Let’s just talk about saving lives right now,” Cruz told Stephanopoulos. “You put the people above the debt. People’s lives and avoiding death above the debt. That’s just how it’s done.”

Trump tweeted several days after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 that the territory is in “deep trouble,” unlike the storm-battered states of Florida and Texas which he said “are doing great.”

Cruz has been outspoken in asking for more federal aid to Puerto Rico. Trump on Saturday blasted her and those in the territory whom he said “want everything to be done for them.”

Cruz told Stephanopoulos on Sunday she would still meet Trump.

“If he asks to meet with me, of course I will meet with him,” she said.

The mayor said the problem in the relief effort to Puerto Rico is not with the staff of the Federal…

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