WASHINGTON ― Top associates of President Donald Trump on Sunday joined his new campaign against the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, over her appeals for quicker federal help following Hurricane Maria.
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has said millions of stranded people are not getting the food and water they need and used media opportunities to say the Trump administration could do more. She rejects the idea that she is attempting to score political points. “I was asking for help,” Cruz said Saturday. “I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the president.”
But Trump, a notorious television obsessive, has reacted harshly to her televised complaints and over the past two days tweeted attacks at her “poor leadership ability” and at other Puerto Rican officials, saying they “want everything to be done for them” and are “politically motivated ingrates.”
Puerto Rico’s government is dealing with a situation in which, as of Saturday, 95 percent of residents had no electricity, the health care system remains crippled and drinking water has been scarce. The Pentagon says the proportion of people reporting no access to clean water grew to 55 percent on Saturday from 44 percent on Wednesday.
Even as federal support was reportedly increasing Sunday, Trump officials were prolonging the feud between the president ― spending his weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey ― and the mayor working around the clock amid dire conditions.
“As you know, when the president gets attacked, he attacks back,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Mnuchin said he could understand the mayor’s frustration, but that he thought her comments “were unfair given what the federal government has done.”
Cruz is isolating herself, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We have done everything that we can and we will continue to do so. It’s unfortunate that…