Trump Brags About Relief Efforts While Blaming Puerto Ricans. Again.

Why is he so bad at this?

Molly Reilly/ZUMA

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Moments before departing for San Juan on Tuesday to survey Puerto Rico’s devastation from Hurricane Maria, President Trump again appeared to lay blame on local residents for slow recovery efforts, while boasting of his administration’s “terrific” work.

“On a local level, they have to give us more help,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “But I will tell you, the first responders, the military, FEMA—they have done an incredible job in Puerto Rico.”

“We need their truck drivers to start driving trucks,” he complained.

Referring to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, an outspoken critic of the administration’s response, Trump claimed she and others were beginning to share in his effusive praise: “I think she’s come a long way. I think it’s now acknowledged what a great job we’ve done.”

After Cruz made an emotional plea last week calling on the president to do more to help Puerto Rico, Trump has repeatedly taken to Twitter to attack her for being “nasty” and demonstrating poor leadership in the wake of Maria. On Sunday, he blasted the media and “politically motivated ingrates” for trying to score political points by criticizing the government’s relief efforts.

It’s unclear whether Trump will meet with Cruz during his visit Tuesday.

Nearly two weeks after the hurricane first made landfall, much of the island is still without power, with many of the residents saying they have yet to see any signs of federal aid

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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