Carmen Yulín Cruz has continued her criticism of President Donald Trump, this time with an ironic twist. During a television interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos, the San Juan mayor wore a "nasty" shirt, donning the very word that the president used on social media to criticize the Puerto Rican politician. During the interview, the mayor explained why she wore the shirt, per a translation from Univision,
Well, one of the expressions that the president used in regards to me was that I was a nasty mayor, right? When you're bothered by someone asking for water to drink, medicine for the sick, and food for the hungry, one has far deeper problems than those which could be explained in an interview. What is truly 'nasty' is to turn your back on the Puerto Rican people.
The interview aired on Wednesday, Oct. 4., a day after President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Puerto Rico and met with leaders on the island, including Mayor Cruz.
Days before, on Saturday, Trump had taken to Twitter to criticize the mayor and others in Puerto Rico, accusing them of making relief efforts more difficult than they should be.
The president wrote,
The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump ... Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.
Mayor Cruz's interview with Univision, complete with translation, can be watched in the video below:
Cruz's "nasty" shirt is yet another fixture in what has become a not-so-subtle back-and-forth between the mayor and the president. After Trump's tweets criticizing Puerto Rico, for instance, Cruz told the Independent,
I have mouths to feed and frankly, sir ... You can insult me all you want. I can take it. But when you call my people ingrates — it’s more than an utter insult, it is a sublime acknowledgement that you don’t know our hearts. I respect the office of the presidency of the United States, but I expect whoever holds it to respect the people I represent …Talking about ingrates, to me that is an insult, it is indignity, and perhaps I will accomplish more out on the streets saving lives.
On Tuesday, both Trump and Cruz met face-to-face and shook hands as the president visited the island for the first time since it suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. During the visit, the president joked that Puerto Rico had "thrown our budget a little out of whack" and praised the island's governor for having a lower death toll than Hurricane Katrina.
After meeting the president, the mayor criticized Trump again, telling CNN,
I think his staff understands now and they have all the data they need. But I would hope that the President of the United States stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico because rather than commander in chief he sort of becomes miscommunicator in chief.
Under the surface of Cruz and Trump's criticisms of each other lies the dire state of Puerto Rico, where reports indicate — among other troubling stories — that the island's health system is on the verge of failing to accommodate those who need help as people recover from the storm's affects.
Meanwhile, 95 percent of the island was still without power as of Wednesday, while only 14 hospitals have electricity, according to ABC News. The most recent death toll, according to Vox, tallies the amount of people who've lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Maria at 34.