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President Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

President Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders

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People use tubes to collect water from the mountain on September 28 in the Toa Alta and Corozal area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Andre Kang / GDA via AP) People use tubes to collect water from the mountain on September 28 in the Toa Alta and Corozal area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Andre Kang / GDA via AP)

President Donald Trump slammed Puerto Rico Thursday, claiming its critical infrastructure was a "disaster" before it was hit by two hurricanes and threatened to pull out emergency management personnel from the storm-ravaged island.

"Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making." says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of........accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes," Trump wrote in a series of tweets early Thursday.

"Congress to decide how much to spend.......We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!" he added.

Trump's latest outburst immediately touched off criticism.

Moments after the tweets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., posted his own question to the president"

"Why do you continue to treat Puerto Ricans differently than other Americans when it comes to natural disasters?" Schumer tweeted.

Attkisson is a conservative journalist who has repeatedly defended Trump. It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the president's reference to her on Twitter.

Trump's remarks come just weeks after Puerto Rico was slammed by Hurricane Maria. FEMA said that as of Tuesday, 21 days since Maria made landfall, 84 percent of people on the island remained without electricity and that just 63 percent of Puerto Ricans had potable water. Many others have been without housing and basic necessities.

Earlier this week, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló raised the death toll from the storm to 43.

Criticism has mounted over the Trump administration’s slow response to what is being called an unfolding humanitarian crisis, with some likening the situation to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

But Trump himself has repeatedly lashed out at Puerto Rican officials, including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has pleaded for more federal assistance in the wake of Maria.

On Sep. 30, Trump tweeted that Cruz had "poor leadership ability" and said Puerto Rican officials "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."

Days later, during an Oct. 3 visit to the island, Trump said U.S. relief efforts in Puerto Rico, bankrupt before the storm, had "thrown our budget a little out of whack" and was filmed casually tossing rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a disaster relief center.

Cruz has criticized Trump for the incident, calling it "terrible and abominable."

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