President Donald Trump briefly addressed the media on the White House lawn has he made his way to Marine One with First Lady Melania by his side on Tuesday. The Commander-in-Chief is on his way to view hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico, the recovery of which has become something of a political football.
Starting last Friday, and through the weekend, Mr. Trump was in a rhetorical battle with those who have been critical of this administration’s response to Puerto Rico, especially Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, who had suggested that the US Territory she calls home was on the verge of “genocide.”
In a stunning series of weekend tweets, the President impugned the character of many in Puerto Rico. Trump called out Yulin Cruz specifically, saying “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”
The fact that the sitting President of the United States would call out the character of those without power, communications and drinkable water — and desperate for any help — seemed distasteful to many. So what did Trump say today? Well, it wasn’t that great (emphasis mine):
Well, I think she’s come back a long way. I think it’s now no longer acknowledged what a great job we’ve done. Texas and Florida we get an A plus. I think we’ve done just as good in Puerto Rico and it’s a much tougher situation. Now the roads are cleared. Communications starting to come back. We need their truck drivers. Their drivers have to start driving trucks. We have to do that. At a local level they have to give us more help. I will tell you the first responders, the military, FEMA, they have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico. And whether it’s her or anybody else, they’re all starting to say it. I appreciate very much the governor and his comments. He has said we have done an incredible job and that’s the truth.
What at first may appear as standard and innocuous comments don’t necessary hold up on second pass.
The fact that the President Trump even cast an eye — or perhaps even more critically, pointed a finger — at the local authorities in a decimated Puerto Rico, will raise more eyebrows (if there are any that have not yet been risen.)
Watch the clip above courtesy of MSNBC.
–image via screen capture–
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