President Donald Trump, caught up short by the widely televised criticisms of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, went on one of his now-standard weekend twitter rants, accusing Cruz of “poor leadership” and others on the hurricane-devastated island who “want everything to be done for them.”
From his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the president also lashed out at his usual targets: CNN, NBC, “fake news” and Democrats. (See the tweets below.)
“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. Shame!”
In seven tweets this morning, Trump attempted to characterize his critics’ arguments as insulting toward first responders (the “first R’s”) rather than as criticism toward his own performance – a tactic that worked extremely well last weekend when he shifted the motives of the football protesters from police brutality to anti-military, anti-flag and anti-anthem disrespect.
Cruz, in particular, has clearly irked the president. A steady, angry presence on cable news in recent days, the mayor, in her now-familiar baseball cap and oversized eyeglasses, has been begging for assistance – fresh water, food – from world leaders. At one point, she held up two large, heavy folders of FEMA paperwork and dropped them loudly to the floor.
The president accused Cruz of being “nasty to Trump” at the behest of Democrats.
Last year, Trump’s debate-floor insult of Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman” went viral, becoming a clarion call for female empowerment. Perhaps the word is ripe for revival.
Here are Trump’s Saturday morning tweets, from the earliest: