In an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos for Al Punto, Yulín Cruz explained why she had harsh words for Trump’s visit, saying, “Number one, what I said to the president is that this is about saving lives, this is not about politics. There are people who do everything for a calculative political motive. My only motive is a human motive.”
“We’re talking about life or death,” she added.
Ramos asked Yulín Cruz to explain why she was wearing a “Nasty” T-shirt, to which she responded, “One of the expressions that the president used to describe me… I was a ‘nasty mayor.'”
“When it bothers somebody that you’re asking for drinking water, medicine for the sick and food for the hungry, that person has much deeper problems than what we can discuss in an interview,” she continued.
“What really is nasty is showing your back to the Puerto Rican people,” she added.
Being a “nasty woman” became a battle cry for women who oppose Trump after he branded presidential opponent Hilary Clinton a “nasty woman” during the election.
The mayor reiterated her comments about Trump “insulting” the island’s people on Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC, hours after meeting Trump in a briefing among local leaders.
“There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors. And in fact, this terrible, abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it’s really — it does not embody the spirit of the American nation,” Yulín Cruz said of the meeting, which she branded nothing but a PR exercise.
The mayor was referring to Trump throwing paper towels and other supplies at a crowd of Puerto Ricans inside of a church during his tour of the island.
Yulín Cruz also touched on the president’s comments that Puerto Rican officials should “be very proud” that the death toll on the island had not grown as it did when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
“He kind of minimized our suffering here by saying that Katrina was a real disaster, sort of implying that this was not a real disaster because not many people have died here,” Yulín Cruz said. “Well you know? They’re dying. They don’t have the medical resources.”
She added that when she met Trump and shook his hand, she tried to impart how important it was for relief efforts in Puerto Rico to be conducted in an effort to save lives.
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“I said to him, ‘It’s about saving lives, it’s not about politics,'” she said. “He didn’t respond.”
The president criticized Yulín Cruz and other Puerto Rican officials for pleading for more aid in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
In September, Trump — while at his golf course in New Jersey — lashed out at what he claimed was “poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help” with hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. territory.
During his first visit to the island on Tuesday, Trump created more controversy by saying, “I hate to tell you Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.”
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, later made headlines for tweeting that Trump is going “straight to hell” for his comments.