FEMA Administrator Brock Long said President Donald Trump's tweeted criticisms of San Juan's mayor during recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria were about her not sufficiently working with federal officials responding to the crisis.
Asked on CNN Saturday about Trump's tweets that lit into Carmen Yulín Cruz, Brock said FEMA had great communication with the Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló as part of the "unified command effort."
"The problem that we have with the mayor unfortunately is that unity of command is ultimately what's needed to be successful in this response," Long said. "The bottom line is we've had a joint field office established for numerous days in San Juan, and what we need is for the mayor, the good mayor, to make her way to the joint field office and get plugged into what's going on and be successful, so I think that's the bottom line with that tweet."
Cruz has blasted the federal response to the storm recovery and said people are dying because of the bureaucratic issues, but Trump has said thousands of workers are on the island doing great work.
Long said FEMA was dealing with disasters in 20 other states, including the fallout from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and said people ought to get rid of the noise and focus on the progress being made.
Trump's early-morning tweets Saturday attracted widespread attention, including his criticism of Cruz's "poor leadership ability."
Later on Saturday afternoon, Trump said "we must be united" in offering assistance to those suffering in Puerto Rico and criticized "complaints" by Cruz.