White House doubles down on attacks against San Juan mayor

Trump lifts foreign shipping restrictions for storm-hit Puerto Rico

Trump said Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has shown "poor leadership ability" for her inability to organize a municipal response to the devastation and is now taking cues from Trump's Democratic critics to blame him for the unfolding humanitarian crisis on the island.

Trump has said that the results of the US recovery effort in Puerto Rico will "speak much louder than complaints" by Mayor Cruz, and has said that he will be on the ground there on Tuesday.

On Friday, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz made several pleas for the US government to help Puerto Rico, where people without food, water, and power are "dying", saying they could "see something close to genocide".

Trump administration Homeland Security officials also faced a backlash over their response to a request to waive the Jones Act, a near-century-old law that requires all goods shipped to the island travel on vessels owned and operated by Americans.

Asked about her Thursday "good news" comment, she said: "There is so much more to do". "This is a people dying story".

At least 16 people lost their lives in Puerto Rico as of Friday and the death toll was expected to climb as recovery efforts continued. "Where is there good news here?"

He then proceeded to praise the military and the first responders for the relief efforts in Puerto Rico, writing: "The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an incredible job". Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates, " the president wrote.

"You're a congenital liar", he wrote in response to a third tweet from Trump, adding with a link to a donation site for a Latino nonprofit.

Fifty-five percent of the island's residents were reported as not having access to drinking water as of Saturday, up from 44% reported on Wednesday, according to figures from the U.S. Defense Department. For his part, President Donald Trump has attacked the mayor on Twitter. "And you should go there, you should go see that operation, where we're having daily conversations with all of the mayors, we're working with the government and his leadership to create unified objectives", Long said.

Duke shifted her tone after she landed in Puerto Rico Friday. "I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying", Cruz said.

Trump tweeted after Cruz criticized the White House's response to Maria's disastrous impact on the United States commonwealth.

"Ultimately the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us" on the massive rebuilding effort and how it will be funded and what to do about the "tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island".

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