The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday hammered President Trump for saying his administration cannot continue helping the island recover from Hurricane Maria “forever.”
Trump earlier Thursday said that the federal government’s response to Puerto Rico’s crisis would not last indefinitely.
“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” he tweeted.
Trump said in other tweets that Puerto Rico’s electric network and infrastructure was a “disaster” before recent storms there.
The president added that a “total lack of accountability” had produced the U.S. territory’s looming debt crisis.
Trump’s comments come as the House heads toward passage of a $36.5 billion disaster aid package, including help for Puerto Rico.
Maria struck Puerto Rico three weeks ago, leaving behind an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Ninety percent of Puerto Rico remains without power after the storm, which has been blamed for at least 45 deaths.
Puerto Rico’s government says it hopes to have electricity completed restored by March, and it estimates a third of the island currently lacks clean running water.
Cruz and Trump have feuded over Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts since shortly after Maria struck there.
The mayor has been vocally displeased with the Trump administration’s response, leading the president to challenge her leadership and accuse her of politicizing the situation.
Trump notably did not ask Cruz to speak during a televised meeting with federal and local officials during his tour of Puerto Rico last week.
Critics have accused Trump’s administration of reacting too slowly to the damage Maria left behind in Puerto Rico.