RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — A North Carolina congressman is criticizing President Donald Trump’s Twitter comments about the mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city, San Juan, which has been devastated.
U.S. Rep. David Price, D-4th, said that Trump “should be ashamed of himself” for the harsh words about Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
On Saturday, Trump accused Cruz and others in Puerto Rico of “poor leadership,” failing “to get their workers to help” and wanting “everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
Price told CBS North Carolina Sunday afternoon that Trump was “derelict in his duty” while the president was “down on one of his golf resorts involved with NFL players and lots of other things…”
Price, whose district includes all of Chapel Hill and parts of Fayetteville, Raleigh, Durham, said Trump “just needs to get with it” and that he hopes the president “has gotten his head straightened out.”
Price spent part of Sunday afternoon in North Raleigh at Precision Packaging Services with members of the community who organized a donation drive to send relief items to the island.
Freddy Medina, an organizer of North Carolina for Puerto Rico, was helping at Sunday’s donation drive.
“For me, it’s really rewarding especially in the middle of the political turmoil we have in the country. Seeing how the people of Puerto Rico are getting the support of the community, like North Carolina, it’s really exciting,” Medina said.
Meanwhile, White House officials Sunday are defending Trump’s comments about the mayor of Puerto Rico’s devastated capital city, and they say the administration is doing all it can to help victims of Hurricane Maria.
Budget director Mick Mulvaney says the public needs to “judge us by the actions, please” in terms of efforts to help Puerto Rico.
He says Trump was responding after the San Juan mayor criticized him for not doing enough – when in fact, Mulvaney says, “the progress is there, and the effort is there.”
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says Cruz’s comments were “unfair” and that “when the president gets attacked, he attacks back.”
Mnuchin says the entire Trump administration is “very much focused” on helping Puerto Rico.
Here is the full transcript of what Price told CBS North Carolina:
My reaction to his harsh words is that he should be ashamed of himself. He just needs to get with it and make sure the full resources of the military and other agencies of our government are doing what they need to do.
He was, I think, derelict in his duty. I think he was down on one of his golf resorts involved with NFL players and lots of other things that he — so his focus wasn’t what it could have been.
But we do have the resources even though we have parallel disasters in Texas and Florida. 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.
And, so, I hope the president has gotten his head straightened out and I do understand the resources are now being fully deployed.