— CNN (@CNN) September 30, 2017
President Donald Trump‘s response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico has been widely criticized for its sluggishness, superficiality and the president’s own apparent lack of concern.
So, let’s add another critic to the list: Retired Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré.
Honoré initially criticized the Trump administration’s response to the devastation in an interview last night. CBS News‘ Michelle Miller asked, “Is Puerto Rico worse than what you found here in Katrina?”
To which Honoré replied, “Oh, hell yeah. The number one priority is saving lives and when you’re saving lives, you’ve gotta figure out what rules you’re gonna break. All the rules we live by are designed for peacetime.”
Honoré is widely credited with turning around the U.S. government’s initially-botched-or-neglected response to Hurricane Katrina under the administration of George W. Bush–an issue which came to dominate Bush’s second term and made him wildly unpopular.
Aside from the Trump administration’s response to Maria, however, the president himself has taken to insulting the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who has severely criticized the government’s response thus far. In a series of tweets, he criticized her leadership ability and accused her of conspiring with the Democratic Party to insult him.
In an interview this morning with CNN, Honoré issued a snarky response when asked to respond to that turn of events. He said:
I have no reaction. The mayor is living on a cot. And I hope the president has a good day of golf.
Then, when pressed as to what the government should be doing better, said:
I would encourage him to give General Buchanan everything that he thinks he wants, direct the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and order the Northcom Commander to be on scene. She has the authority to give General Buchanan everything he needs. And that’s what is needed right now. No ifs or whats about it. We need more boots on the ground to help kick-start the system so we can do things like get the enablers up, help get gasoline flowing, help get medicines to the right place. We need at least 150 helicopters here–last count we had less than 80…for distribution to the outlying areas.
[image via screengrab]