In a Wednesday morning tweet, President Donald Trump once again defended the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico while attacking at the same time the San Juan mayor who has since last year been one of his most vocal critics.
“We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan),” the President’s tweet read. “We are ready for the big one that is coming!” he added, referring to Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm moving toward Virginia and the Carolinas.
Late on Tuesday, when asked by reporters in the White House what he had learned from the response to Hurricane Maria, Trump said it was “an incredible, unsung success.”
The comments immediately sparked a response from the San Juan mayor, who said President Trump’s neglect and failure to grasp the severity of the situation “cost about 3,000 lives.”
“Success? Federal response according to Trump in Puerto Rico a success? If he thinks the death of 3,000 people [is] a success God help us all,” Mayor Carmen Cruz added.
Meanwhile, Trump said in another tweet that the administration is “supplied and ready” for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall later this week.
“Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated. It will be arriving soon,” he tweeted.
Back in September, Cruz also criticized Trump for his inefficiency in helping the people of Puerto Rico. However, he has persistently praised FEMA for its response, despite the agency’s delay in approving crucial disaster aid to Puerto Rico, or the fact that it hired inexperienced contractors, Vox reports.
“I actually think it’s one of the best jobs that’s ever been done,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.