Lin-Manuel Miranda recently made headlines when he slammed Donald Trump for his lackluster response after Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, declaring that the president will go “straight to hell.”
Now, the star says his out-of-character tweets came at a desperate time.
“I’ve never seen a sitting president attack the victims of a natural disaster before,” the 37-year-old said during a Friday appearance on Good Morning America. “That is without precedent, that is why my words were without precedent.”
The Twitter posts came after Trump sent out a string of messages condemning Puerto Rico officials for seeking federal aid in the wake of the storm, claiming they “want everything to be done for them.”
His messages incensed Miranda, and prompted him to send out some tweets of his own.
“You’re going straight to hell,” he responded to the embattled president’s tweet. “No long lines for you. Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They’ll clear a path.”
Miranda’s posts quickly garnered a lot of attention, with more than 200,000 retweets.
“The tweets I wrote this weekend made news because normally my Twitter feed is full of dad jokes and dog videos and pictures of my son playing with trains,” he said on GMA.
Trump has drawn criticism in recent weeks for his response to the disaster, and courted more controversy Tuesday when he tossed rolls of paper towels into a crowd while visiting Puerto Rico.
Miranda said he has not seen Tuesday’s press conference, as he was busy putting the finishing touches on a new song to raise money for disaster relief, titled “Almost Like Praying.”
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“I waited to hear, are we increasing aid? Are we increasing troops?” he said. “Short of that, I don’t need to see another photo-op. I need action and I need people to help my island.”
Miranda, who is from Puerto Rico and has family there, revealed that his cousin waited 12 hours in line for just $20 worth of gasoline.
“[My family is] doing the same as everybody else on the island. They’re putting on a brave face for us,” he said. “It’s dire. We’re still in a humanitarian crisis and we need all the help we can get.”