Wearing 'Nasty' shirt, San Juan mayor rips Trump's hurricane response

Wearing 'Nasty' shirt, San Juan mayor rips Trump's hurricane response

Wearing 'Nasty' shirt, San Juan mayor rips Trump's hurricane response

President Donald Trump finally dropped by Puerto Rico, where thousands of people remain without access to electricity or potable water after Hurricane Maria lashed the island on September 20.

The US president, alongside First Lady Melania Trump, visited the middle class suburb of Guaynabo, walking among trees and signs felled two weeks ago by Maria's jet-blast winds.

"I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack", Trump said.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney walked back President Trump's comment to "wipe out" Puerto Rico's billions of dollars in debt in the aftermath of a hurricane that has devastated the U.S. territory.

He told islanders they could be "very proud" that more people had not perished in the storm, compared to the toll from "a real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He also shook hands with San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, whom he had insulted a few days back.

The death count from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has now been raised from 16 to 34.

Trump and Cruz have been disparaging each other through the press and social media for almost a week as criticism poured in over Trump's response to the Hurricane Maria damage in Puerto Rico.

Cruz wore a t-shirt with the words, "Help us, we are dying" during an interview last week on CNN.

During his Tuesday visit to Puerto Rico Trump congratulated Puerto Rican officials on their efforts and praised his own administration's response to the disaster.

Trump said Puerto Rico's electrical power is "being fixed", adding that that the power grid was "devastated before the hurricanes even hit".

'There's a lot of love in this room, a lot of love, ' Trump said.

She also took particular issue with the "terrible" and "abominable" images of Trump throwing rolls of paper towels into a crowd of people during the visit.

After revealing the gross shortage of supplies Puerto Rico has received, she said she was done playing nice: "So I am done being polite, I am done being politically correct". We will help Puerto Rico rebuild from the storm.

She said she hoped new channels of communication with the White House "put in motion what is needed" to save lives.

"[The] operative question here is how many have died during the ensuring response, when they *could have been saved.* We don't yet know", wrote Jeremy Konyndyk, chief of foreign disaster assistance during the Obama administration on Twitter Tuesday following Trump's comments. People feel like they're not being heard especially on an island like Puerto Rico, who feels like they aren't getting what they need.

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