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Trump Criticizes San Juan Mayor Over 'Poor Leadership' in Puerto Rico Recovery


The mayor of Puerto Rico's capital has hit back at the comments by a top Trump administration official who said the federal effort to help the United States island territory recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria is "a good news story". But on that front, she ran into winds as fierce as Maria.

The mayor lashed back by saying, "Maybe from where she's standing, it's a good news story".

Although thousands of Puerto Ricans are starting to get water and rationed food as an aid bottleneck eases, many, especially outside the capital, remain desperate for necessities.

It is estimated that telecommunications has returned to 30% of the island, nearly half the supermarkets have reopened, and more than half of gas stations are back in business. However, many remain desperate for necessities, most urgently water, long after the September 20 hurricane.

"I'd like to begin by sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of Puerto Rico, who have been struck by storms of historic and catastrophic severity", Trump said. "The police and truck drivers are very substantially gone, they're taking care of their families and largely unable to get involved, largely unable to help", he said. "It's been wiped out".

The department announced the trip Thursday evening after Duke's "good news" comments at the White House earlier that day.

"I haven't heard what she said", he told reporters.

"We're certainly bringing in more", Lieutenant General Jeffrey Buchanan said on Friday, a day after he was appointed by the Pentagon to oversee the USA response.

So Trump is perfectly fine blaming the leadership of Puerto Rico for the slow disaster relief but somehow that blame doesn't extend to him - despite being president and Puerto Rico being a USA territory.

Major U.S. labor unions are organizing truck drivers to help with relief efforts in Puerto Rico as the island continues to grapple with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria last week.

Appearing in a later interview wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: "Help us".

Trump, who was scheduled to visit next week, addressed the situation on Friday before a speech in Washington about his new tax plan. "Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!"

Trump launched his personal attack on Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz via a morning tweetstorm from his golf resort at Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending the weekend.

The President again praised the federal government's response on the island, which is grappling with the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria, saying the 10,000 federal workers there were doing a "fantastic job".

President Donald Trump is lashing out at the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital city in a war of words over recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria smashed into the USA territory.

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