San Juan Mayor: Trump Tossing Towels Was 'Terrible'

And 'abominable,' says Carmen Yulin Cruz
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2017 8:41 AM CDT

There's no love lost between San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and President Trump, and that situation wasn't much changed following the president's trip to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Cruz, you'll recall, lashed out last Thursday against the administration's categorization of federal relief efforts as a "good news story"; two days later, Trump tweeted about her "poor leadership ability." Ahead of his visit, he said Cruz had "come back a long way" regarding her criticism, but she didn't shy away from dishing up criticism Tuesday night. In an MSNBC interview, Cruz called Trump "insulting to the people of Puerto Rico" during his visit. "This was a PR, 17-minute meeting. There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors." She also referenced a comment and an action that got wide coverage Tuesday.

Referring to Trump as the "miscommunicator-in-chief," Cruz decried his statement that Puerto Rican officials should "be very proud" of the island's death toll, which he noted was drastically lower than that caused by Hurricane Katrina. "He kind of minimized our suffering here by saying that Katrina was a real disaster, sort of implying that this was not a real disaster because not many people have died here." She further called the visual of Trump tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd at a distribution center, "terrible and abominable ... it does not embody the spirit of the American nation." But Cruz did have compliments to offer White House staff on Twitter, calling their meeting "productive. They REALLY understood the disconnect between how things are supposed to happen and how they really happen." (More President Trump stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.