Trump waives cargo restrictions to speed help to Puerto Rico

A woman at her severely damaged house in Yabucoa Puerto Rico Thursday

"I am going to do what I never thought I would do".

A week ago, when Jose Sanchez, the mayor of Manati, Puerto Rico reported the damage caused by Hurricane Maria to his small town he was furious: it was three days after the storm and there was still no power and no phone network.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said President Donald Trump's attack on the mayor of San Juan is "unspeakable".

Mulvaney and Mnuchin's criticism follows a White House official's anonymous statement on Saturday suggesting that Cruz has been "too busy doing TV" to properly gauge federal relief efforts.

Cruz was referencing Duke's comments on Thursday, when the Trump administration official said she was satisfied with the government's response to help Puerto Rico's recover from Hurricane Maria.

US lawmakers urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to stop sniping at Puerto Ricans and get to work helping them recover from a devastating hurricane, two days before he was to visit the island, where people remained without food, water or power. She said she meant "it was good news that people of Puerto Rico and many public servants of the United States are working together". In a briefing Saturday he pointed to efforts by FEMA to deliver fuel across the island, particularly to hospitals. When asked, Mayor Cruz says she has no problem meeting with the President when he arrives.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has called the destruction to the island unprecedented, though the Republican has praised the USA government's relief efforts.

When pressed, Rossello said he did not interpret Trump's tweets as a slight to Puerto Rico's people.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is answering with her own tweets.

Rossello and Cruz are members of rival political parties. "Let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction".




Trump later responded, calling Cruz's leadership "poor" and said her and the country's government were "not able to get their workers to help".

Singer-songwriter John Legend retweeted one of Mr Trump's tweets and wrote: "Trump continues to dominate the shittiest president ever competition". "For the last two days, we've been very involved in figuring out how we can get major amounts of cash to Puerto Rico".

The president also thanked Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp "who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job!"

Thousands more Puerto Ricans have received water and rationed food as an aid bottleneck has begun to ease.

Many said they are losing patience and wondering why, as American citizens, they are not getting the same relief as residents of Florida and Texas after storms Irma and Harvey. Francisco Corrada, manager of freight services at Crowley Maritime Corporation at the port, said things are picking up but if businesses are not reopened they can't send truckers to pick up goods.

Speaking from San Juan, Renee Acosta said, "If he's not here, he shouldn't be criticizing the community efforts". As of Saturday, 95 percent of the island was still without power and much of the telecommunications infrastructure remained offline.

"Hang on, my mission is way more hard than trying to get to one area", Long said on CNN, saying the agency had set up hubs around the island, and that Mayor Cruz needed to "get plugged in to what's going on" in the response.

Trump's suggestion that some Puerto Ricans did not want to work also appeared likely to stoke resentment at a time when numerous island's first responders, desperately working to keep their own families alive, have been unable to join in the larger relief effort.

The acting USA homeland security secretary is headed to Puerto Rico to see the devastation and meet local officials.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has accused the Trump administration of "killing us with the inefficiency" after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

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