The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico continued her criticism of President Trump on Tuesday, just after the pair met face-to-face.
In an interview with CNN, Carmen Yulin Cruz called Trump the “miscommunicator-in-chief” and accused him of “spouting out comments” that harm Puerto Ricans.
“I think his staff understands now and they have all the data they need, but I would hope that the President of the United States stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico,” Cruz said. “Because rather than commander-in-chief, he sort of becomes miscommunicator-in-chief.”
Trump and Cruz have battled back and forth through the media in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that lashed the island on Sept. 20. Cruz has accused the Trump administration of failing to provide adequate care and supplies in its relief effort.
In response, Trump blasted Cruz in a series of tweets over the weekend.
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “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.”
Trump met and shook hands with Cruz during a briefing held at Muniz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, P.R.
During a press availability, Trump took a slight jab at Puerto Rico over its poor financial situation.
“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack,” Trump said at the briefing, referring to the territory’s ongoing debt crisis. “Because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico and that’s fine. We saved a lot of lives.”
He also compared the death toll from Hurricane Maria to Hurricane Katrina, the Category 5 storm that left more than 1,200 people dead in the Southeast in 2005.
“Sixteen people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud,” Trump said.