On Saturday, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski criticized how Donald Trump’s actions were negatively affecting Puerto Rico just as the president went on a tweet storm in response to the backlash he has received for his perceived lackluster response to the crisis there.
“Hard to believe but this could be worse than Charlottesville… Trump’s racism is costing lives. #heisnotfit,” Brzezinski wrote, referencing the white nationalist march in Virginia in August and Trump’s widely criticized response where he failed to initially outright condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
So far Hurricane Maria — which ravaged the island on Sept. 20, leaving the entire island without electricity and destroying many homes — has claimed at least 16 lives in Puerto Rico so far, the Associated Press reports. Experts estimate that without electricity and supplies, that number could increase to thousands.
While Brzezinski didn’t elaborate on her claims about Trump being a “racist,” she is hardly the first person to speak out about his response to the storm. Dozens of officials and celebrities have criticized Trump for seemingly ignoring the crisis after the storm hit and, on Saturday morning, many more chimed in to condemn him after he slammed the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, for speaking out against him and begging for more aid.
On Saturday afternoon the president responded to the widespread backlash against his handling of the situation in Puerto Rico — insisting that he had been working with local officials to ensure that they were getting the help they needed.
“Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!” he wrote.
Trump also complimented Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello, who said that the federal government has been helping the commonwealth with their recovery effort — but that they still needed more aid.
“The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you Ricky!” Trump said.
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“Just spoke to Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. virgin Islands who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job! Thank you Governor!” Trump continued.
”To the people of Puerto Rico: Do not believe the #FakeNews! #PRStrong” he continued. “We must all be united in offering assistance to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the wake of this terrible disaster.”
Brzezinski, who has publicly clashed with the president in the past — and even becoming the target of some of his meaner tweets — responded to Trump’s defense saying it was “too late” and that “no one” believed him.
“Too late. No one believes you now,” she wrote. “But what else is new? #heisnotfit.”
Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 with ferocious 155-mph winds that ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs from buildings, and caused flooding that made many streets look like raging rivers. The most powerful storm of its kind to hit the island since 1932, it ravaged the island and left millions homeless.
Electricity has been knocked out completely, with residents in need of electricity having to rely on backup generators. Experts estimate it could take half a year to restore power to the 3.5 million people who live there. Cell phone service has also been completely shut down.