Donald Trump was heckled by an audience member who accused him of not caring about the hurricane which has ravaged Puerto Rico.
The US president dedicated a golf trophy to the hurricane victims of Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida at the Presidents Cup golf tournament in New Jersey.
While presenting the trophy to the US captain, Steve Stricker, he said: “Puerto Rico and the people of Florida who have really suffered over this last short period of time with the hurricanes, I want to just remember them.”
He continued: “And we’re going to dedicate this trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love, a part of our great state, really a part of our great nation.”
But the latter part of his speech was interrupted by an angry onlooker who audibly shouted out: “You don’t give a s*** about Puerto Rico!”
The speech comes as a row between President Trump and the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan escalates. On Sunday, US lawmakers urged President Trump to stop taking aim at Puerto Rican officials and expand relief efforts to counter the devastation generated by Hurricane Maria.
The billionaire property developer hit out at “politically motivated ingrates” on Sunday for criticising the US government’s response to Hurricane Maria which killed at least 16 people and left almost all of the island’s 3.5 million residents living without power.
A day earlier, he accused San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, of “poor leadership” and claimed she had been told by Democrats to be “nasty” to him.
Ms Cruz has argued the Trump administration is “killing us with the inefficiency” after the hurricane’s 140mph winds and torrential rain knocked out 80 per cent of the island’s electricity. The category 4 storm has meant half of residents do not have access to clean drinking water and only five per cent have electricity.
Ms Cruz broke down in an interview just days ago while describing the humanitarian crisis on the island, saying: “People are starting to die.”
During a press conference on Friday, Ms Cruz said: “I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island.
“I am asking the President of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives,” she added, warning that “if we don’t get the food and water into peoples' hands what we are going to see is something close to a genocide”.
Lt Gen Jeffrey Buchanan, a three-star general who is leading the US military’s emergency response, said the damage there is the worst he had ever seen.
The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria on the island that is home to 3.5 million American citizens prompted few mentions from President Trump in the days after it despite him tweeting about numerous other subjects.
Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last month and is now tormented with logistics, communications and supply issues. The region's infrastructure lies in ruins and there are substantial food and medicine shortages, with even hospitals relying on generators to keep the lights on.
President Trump and senior administration figures are set to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
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