HURRICANE MARIA: Trump blames Puerto Ricans for slow response to aid

HURRICANE MARIA: Trump blames Puerto Ricans for slow response to aid

CBS News' David Begnaud has been in Puerto Rico for 12 nights, reporting on the storm and the island's resilience.

It follows widespread criticism of his administration's response to the hurricane.

For the students gathered Saturday, the disaster is personal - all of them have family in Puerto Rico.

On top of that, Puerto Rico has a shortage of diesel fuel, which is needed to power the semi-trucks.

In a perhaps-unconscious echo of George W. Bush's 2005 "heckuva job" appraisal of his own administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, on Saturday Donald Trump took to Twitter to laud his government's "amazing job" after Hurricane Maria and continued to jeer Puerto Ricans who have called for more efficient federal relief from the damage caused by the most powerful storm to strike the territory in almost 90 years. "Please step up [and] help!"

This time, celebrities lent their voices to the fray to defend the subject of Trump's ire: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. We have the resources to get to Puerto Rico and to get relief to Puerto Rico and to give them full attention as this disaster - the dimensions of it become more and more clear.

Nathaniel, a student at Manhattan College, tells 1010 WINS' Andrew Falzon that the federal response to the deepening crisis could have been better.

In a statement delivered from a relief center, Cruz said, "I can not fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world can not figure out the logistics for a small island".

Trump also spoke about the way to pay for recovery efforts in the future, reminding the American people about the huge amount of Puerto Rico's existing debt.

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The Teamsters union and the AFL-CIO, a federation of more than 50 unions, are working together to recruit truckers to travel to Puerto Rico and help distribute a stockpile of relief supplies.

The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjiani echoed many A-listers' thoughts with his Twitter comment that "He (Trump) would never talk this way about a predominantly white community", while John Legend concluded, "Trump continues to dominate the sh**tiest president ever competition". "If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency".

Cruz responded to Trump's attack by saying she had no time for petty politics when lives were at stake.

Charles W. Cooke, an editor for conservative journal The National Review, said that while Trump didn't deserve the early critiques of his response, his posts on Saturday had changed Cooke's opinion.

Trump says in a tweet that some on the USA territory "want everything to be done for them". "I don't have a vehicle and I need the transportation", said bus passenger Wilson Rivera.

He's going after what he calls "politically motivated ingrates" and says "people are now starting to recognize the fantastic work" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military. And that's led to some strong words back from the president.

However, Kardashian had her own message for the president after he told Puerto Rican residents recovering from Hurricane Maria to not believe the "fake news".

Fellow mayors have said Cruz has not been attending meetings with federal agencies, to include FEMA and the head of the agency has more or less confirmed as much.

For the record, over three days, we have spoken to no-one who has received any government help beyond a few bottles of water, maybe a meal or some second-hand clothes.

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