Trump slams mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico over hurricane relief effort

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She had described "our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths" as the good news.

"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 said on Twitter.

Reid kept on, though, asking what Cruz thought of Trump's attack on the people of Puerto Rico, saying he thought they were too lazy to help themselves.

"Outside fake news or politically motivated ingrates. people are now starting to recognize the unbelievable work that has been done by FEMA and our great military", he tweeted. "Wish press would treat fairly!" "As was said after Hurricane Andrew: 'Where the hell is the cavalry?'" he said in a statement. He said the government is "fully engaged in the disaster and the response and recovery effort".

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré led the military response in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

In defending the federal response, administration officials told reporters Thursday that food, water and other necessary supplies have already been delivered to the USA territory. "The results that we've had with respect to loss of life - people can't believe how successful that has been, relatively speaking". "Let's not talk about jurisdiction, head-on collisions, let's talk about how we can make sure that people get stuff fast and easy".

Earlier he tweeted: "The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes".

Pressed on the tweet, the governor said the president's words were not aimed at Puerto Rican citizens.

"The federal response has been a disaster", said Melendez. "It's been really slow".

He also noted that he and the first lady will be traveling to Puerto Rico and possibly the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also hit by hurricanes. "People are suffering outside".

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Puerto Rico under flash flood watch amid agonizing wait for suppliesPuerto Rico is under a flash flood watch as the agonizing wait for food and supplies continues in the United States island after Hurricane Maria hit more than a week ago. But the mayor of Puerto Rico's largest city heatedly denies that.

Later in the day, Trump tempered his tweeted barbs.

At least half of the bank branches in Puerto Rico are still not open, according to the Association of Banks of Puerto Rico. Rivera said he began distributing it to hard-hit rural areas.

"With them being in debt, they don't have enough ready liquid cash to pay their normal share", Bossert said.

Meanwhile, more than 9,000 cargo containers filled with necessary supplies have arrived at a port in San Juan but have yet to be distributed to those in need.

Still, Cruz, in her CNN appearance, left little doubt that she is looking to the White House for help.

"This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water". But because of damaged infrastructure - impassable roads, non-operational seaports and airports, and a lack of communication lines - getting those supplies to people in need has proved much more hard.

Trump and Vice President Pence are slated to visit the island next week.

"We will quickly act on that request", Ryan said.