Trump slams Puerto Rican mayor, says islanders ‘want everything done for them’

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 30 2017 11:21 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2017 11:23 PM

People on Thursday queue at a gas station to fill up their fuel containers, after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Alvin Baez, Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Saturday attacked a Puerto Rican mayor over her "poor leadership ability" after she criticized the pace of relief efforts in the wake of devastating Hurricane Maria.

Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of the territory's capital city San Juan, has repeatedly called on federal authorities to do more to get vital supplies to residents, many of whom are still without power and running water since the storm delivered a body-blow to the island earlier this month.

Trump lashed out in a series of morning tweets, while also suggesting that Puerto Ricans "want everything to be done for them" and had left the bulk of relief work to federal first responders and the military.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, an emotional Cruz appeared to take issue to a series of oddly upbeat comments made by Trump administration officials.

"We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island," she said, adding: "(If) we don't get the food and water into people's hands, we are going to see something close to a genocide.

"I respectfully disagree with President Trump and I am sure that he is not getting the data that we are seeing in the streets."

Trump's latest missive could further inflame sentiment after he had earlier weighed in on the emerging fight over how to finance the already debt-stricken territory's recovery -- comments that were viewed as premature and distasteful by some.

The president plans to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.