From the safety and comfort of his New Jersey golf resort, President Donald Trump on Saturday lashed out on Twitter against Puerto Rican leaders who are facing a dire humanitarian crisis after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Now, in addition to his failed response to that hurricane, which has left the island’s residents without food, water, electricity, roads, and other infrastructure for 10 days and counting, the president is playing politics, blaming the criticism on Democrats and “fake news.”
But the only thing fake about Puerto Rico’s tragedy was Trump’s own claims, as he repeatedly bragged throughout the week about his administration’s “really great” response that brought “tremendous reviews” from Puerto Rico’s governor.
The president had been distracted by his own racist propaganda war against the NFL and its African American players, tweeting 22 times about the players’ protests over police brutality while Americans were dying in Puerto Rico.
What prompted Trump’s latest tweets were desperate pleas from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who begged for help on television.
“We are dying here. And I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles long. So, Mayday, we are in trouble,” the mayor said, fighting back tears.
This is the same mayor who earlier had waded through chest–deep water to personally rescue people from their homes as floodwaters continued to rise in the Puerto Rican neighborhood where she grew up after Hurricane Maria hit.
But that didn’t matter to the thin–skinned president, who remains fixated on his own image and ego instead of what he can do to help.
“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,” the president claimed in the first of 10 tweets and retweets about Puerto Rico on Saturday.
Trump criticized the “poor leadership” of Puerto Rican officials, who he said “want everything done for them,” another of his racist dog whistles designed to appeal to his political base.
Then, he bragged again about the “amazing job” of responders.
But that wasn’t enough. An hour later, he attacked the “Fake News,” mentioning CNN and NBC by name.
For her part, the mayor responded with a dignified tweet that reminded the president that the only thing she cares about is “saving lives.”
The backlash over Trump’s latest tantrum, in which he proved once again that he is unfit for the office of the president, was scathing.
Even the general in charge of responding to the crisis countered Trump’s earlier claims, saying that the Defense Department has not sent enough troops and vehicles.
Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan said Friday that the Pentagon provided 10,000 people to help, and more would be sent soon. “[It’s] not enough, and we’re bringing more in,” he said, according to The Hill.
In a story titled, “Lost Weekend,” The Washington Post reported that a visit by Trump to his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, last weekend—the same place where the president is spending this weekend—hurt his response to Hurricane Maria.
Trump issued an emergency declaration and pledged to help Puerto Rico on Sept. 21, but here’s how the Post describes what happened next:
But then for four days after that — as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages — Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves.
Trump jetted to New Jersey that Thursday night to spend a long weekend at his private golf club there, save for a quick trip to Alabama for a political rally. Neither Trump nor any of his senior White House aides said a word publicly about the unfolding crisis.
When Trump finally acknowledged the crisis on Sept. 25, after his tirade against the NFL, he blamed Puerto Rico for its debt and infrastructure problems, even mentioning “Wall Street and the banks.”
Update, 2:15 p.m.: Psycho Don won’t stop tweeting lies about the federal government’s Hurricane Maria response. From his golf course, Trump issued another tweet about the “amazing job” in Puerto Rico:
So far, the official death toll stands at 16, but that number is expected to substantially increase in coming days. More than 10,000 people currently are in shelters.
Update, 3:45 p.m.: Trump keeps tweeting. Because it’s not about helping Puerto Rico...it’s about Donald’s ego. And he seems to have forgotten the tweets he sent out earlier this morning (scroll back up and read them again).
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings and advisories for several Puerto Rican municipalities, citing “thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area[s].”
And then Trump attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz yet again:
Lots of people are beyond fed up with the president, including NJ Sen. Bob Menendez, who urged the president to “grow up”: