On Tuesday, San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has been harshly critical of President Trump’s rhetoric and actions vis-à-vis Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, hurled out her vitriol again as she spoke on MSNBC with host Nicole Wallace, calling Trump the “Faker-in-Chief,” intimating that he racially discriminates, and snapping that he “is heartless … vengeful …” and “willing to let people starve, to let people die.”
Wallace commented: “You had paper towels tossed in the faces of your citizens and your constituents. Does anything shock you any more from this president?”
Cruz: “It still continues to shock me.”
Wallace, laughing, “Me too!”
It still continues to shock the people of Puerto Rico. Just when you think he has gone the lowest he could go, he still goes lower than that … he’s become a fake news cartoon … Mr. President, 3,000 Puerto Ricans died on your watch. They died because your government was inefficient, ineffective, unable to do its job … his vanity is much higher than his humanity is … he continues to embarrass himself; he continues to embarrass the office of the presidency … with all the lies he has put together he has become the “Faker-in-Chief.”
Wallace asked: “You are trying to put together an island; you are trying to keep people together. You’ve described a very dire circumstance, with suicide rates going up, you’ve described 3,000 people who’ve lost their lives. What do you need from the federal government today?
Cruz then launched into her rant:
We need the President to be able to put his ego aside and do his job. We need the President to not hold aid as a weapon and weaponize it, which is something he criticizes from other countries. We need the Congress of the United States to hear the call of the people not only of Puerto Rico but of other places that have been really dealing with very difficult situations coming from disasters that are a result of climate change.
But most of all, we need the President to develop a heart. This man is heartless. This man is vengeful. This man racially discriminates against people that are not like him, and he is willing to let people starve, to let people die. So we need the American people to get on the phone, call your senators, call your Congresspeople, and let them know that the situation in Puerto Rico is not as it was before, thank God, but we still need a lot of help to stand up and move forward and we need the American people to understand that there’s a difference between the money that we needed to pick up debris and to deal with the immediate aftermath, and the money, the Community Development Block Grant DR, the Disaster and Relief Fund. $1.5 billion would still have not hit the cities of San Juan or any other of the 77 additional municipalities. But mostly we need the President to stop lying, to stand up, to assume responsibility, and to have the courage to say, look, I haven’t done right by Puerto Rico. I’m going to start today.
In June 2018, Cruz accused the Trump administration of looking away “from its legal imperative and violating the human rights of the people of Puerto Ricco,” saying on MSNBC:
There’s a moral imperative and a legal imperative. It is clear the Trump administration has looked away from its legal imperative. But where the government has failed, the American people have risen to the occasion. We have continued to have volunteers come in … Look, President Trump tweets about the crack of dawn and he hasn’t even tweeted one time to say look, I mourn with the people of Puerto Rico. So this total neglect has to be called upon. The United Nations says that when people are denied their right to access to basic human services—like electric power, like water, like food, like appropriate medical care—that it is a violation of human rights.”
In October 2017, as Mediate reported, after President Trump tweeted that Puerto Rico wouldn’t receive federal aid “forever” and that the island was a “disaster” before Hurricane Maria hit, Cruz appeared on CNN with host Don Lemon and stated that Trump had a “big mouth.” She said, “We have paid our dues, and there are American citizens here in Puerto Rico. This is a nation. There’s a big disconnect between the big heart of the volunteers and the people that are here working on the ground and, frankly, the big mouth of the President of the United States. It continues to add insult to injury.”
Also in October 2017, Cruz accused Trump of genocide, saying in a statement, “I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE. I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.”
Video of Cruz with Wallace below: