Trump praises 'leadership' of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands govs after slamming mayor

Puerto Ricans Still Waiting for Aid a Week After Maria's Devastation

Cruz had been among the harshest critics of Trump's response to hurricanes Irma and Maria, which have killed at least 16 people and left millions across Puerto Rico without food, water and electricity in recent weeks.

WATCH: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz expressed her frustrations on Friday of the response to relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

"We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy", Cruz said in a tearful speech. He wrote that "such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help".

President Donald Trump went after San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on Twitter criticizing her leadership and also complained that people in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them". Trump added, prompting Kim Kardashian to reply.

Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on September 20 as a very powerful Category 4 hurricane on the heels of Hurricane Irma, with roof-ripping winds and torrential rains that caused widespread flooding and heavily damaged homes, roads and other infrastructure.

Though more than 1 million Puerto Ricans have now received water and food rations, telecommunications have only been restored to 30 percent of the island.

"General Buchanan, a three-star general, has said that he doesn't have enough troops and he doesn't have enough equipment", the mayor commented, adding, "So who am I? Puerto Rico was totally destroyed".

Criticised for focusing more on protests by professional football players than on the disaster in the Caribbean, the White House said the president spoke late on Saturday by phone with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, former governor Luis Fortuno, and Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, who represents the island in Congress but has no voting power. "The governor called and said, 'Look, you do.' And they did it right away", she said.

"I'm not a hero here", said CBS News' David Begnaud, who has been in Puerto Rico since before Maria hit on September 20. When asked, Mayor Cruz says she has no problem meeting with the President when he arrives. "I know it's a hard storm to recover from but the amount of progress that's been made, and I really would appreciate any support that we get".

"The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R's".

According to a US army spokesperson, as of Friday, the Army had over 4,900 soldiers and Army Corps of Engineers civilian personnel in Puerto and the US Virgin Islands, also affected by the hurricane.

On Thursday, Duke expressed nothing short of full confidence when she talked to reporters about Puerto Rico outside the White House.

Despite the criticism, Yulín Cruz told ABC's This Week that she would meet with Trump when he visits the island Tuesday if she is invited.

Puerto Rico filed the biggest bankruptcy in US municipal history this year and had been struggling to regain economic stability in the face of a $72 billion debt load and near-insolvent public health and pension systems, even before the hurricanes hit.

Mr. Trump's weekend tweets have shown him to be contemptuous of any complaints of a laggard USA response to the natural disaster that has imperiled the island's future.

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