San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said to ABC's This Week, "of course" she'd be willing to meet with President Trump during his planned visit to Puerto Rico Tuesday, despite criticism from the president and other administration officials. Trump tweeted Saturday that Cruz is showing "poor leadership" in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
From Cruz's interview:
- On bureaucracy slowing down recovery efforts: "I've been quite complimentary of the people from HHS and FEMA. Their heart is in the right place, but we have to cut the red tape."
- On Puerto Rico's $73 billion debt: "Let us not talk about the debt; let us not the cost of reconstruction. Let us just talk about saving lives right now."
- On Puerto Rico's power lines: Restoring the power grid "has an immediate effect on our ability to recover financially."
Criticisms against Cruz:
- From Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on NBC's Meet the Press: "When the president gets attacked, he attacks back ... I think the mayor's comments were unfair given what the federal government has done."
- From FEMA director Brock Long, on Fox News Sunday: "We can choose to look at what the mayor spouts off ... or we can also choose to see what's actually being done." Long criticized Cruz for not visiting the FEMA coordination center in San Juan. Long added, "I believe the Puerto Ricans are pulling their weight."
- From White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, on CNN's State of the Union: "It's unfortunate that the ... San Juan Mayor has gone against the grain. We'd love to have her on the team."