San Juan mayor rips Trump for giving himself a perfect '10' on hurricane response

Hunter Walker
White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — A day after President Trump praised his response to the hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico as deserving of “a 10” on a scale of one to 10, the mayor of the island’s largest city accused him of living in an “alternative reality world.”

“If it is a 10 out of a scale of 100, of course. It is still a failing grade,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said in an interview with CNN that aired Friday.

Cruz went on to point out that many people still lack essential services in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. More than 80 percent of the island is without power, and more than 30 percent lacks reliable drinking water. The damage was largely caused by Hurricane Maria when it hit the island on Sept. 20. The storm was a Category 5, the highest level on the hurricane scale.

“I think the president lives in an alternative reality world that only he believes the things that he is saying,” said Cruz, adding, “People … are still without electricity. We knew it was going to take a long time for that to happen, but the basic services are still not there yet and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of how it’s supposed to go.”

Cruz’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News.

Donald Trump; Carmen Yulin Cruz (Photos: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Trump gave himself high marks for the federal response to the storm as he met with Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in the Oval Office on Thursday. His comments came when Yahoo News asked, “Between one and 10, how would you grade the White House response so far to the hurricane?”

“I’d say it was a 10,” Trump said before going on to note the magnitude of the storm and some of the unique issues with Puerto Rican infrastructure.

During his meeting with Trump on Thursday, Rosselló did not give Trump a numerical grade for his response to the devastation in Puerto Rico. However, when Yahoo News asked if he was “satisfied” with the White House’s response, Rosselló was complimentary, though he also said, “Much is left to be done.”

“All the requests that we’ve had for Mr. President, he has delivered. And he has been working,” Rosselló said in Spanish.

On Friday, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Cruz, an outspoken critic of Trump’s disaster-response efforts, about Rosselló’s comments.

“Listen, people have different styles and different ways of doing things. I’m always looking injustice in the face,” Cruz said. “Of course, the response got here. But was it enough? No,” she added.


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