04/10/2017 10:10 PM AEDT | Updated 04/10/2017 10:15 PM AEDT

San Juan Mayor Slams Trump's 'Terrible And Abominable' Puerto Rico Stunt

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico blasted President Donald Trump's meeting with local leaders on the island Tuesday as a public relations stunt.

"There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors," Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said on MSNBC.

She called out Trump for the bizarre moment when he tossed paper towels to storm survivors in need of supplies after Hurricane Maria left many on the island without basic necessities.

"This terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it does not embody the spirit of the American nation," Cruz said. "That is not the land of the free and the home of the brave, that beacon of democracy that people have learned to look up to across the world."

She also said the president had a communications problem and called him the "miscommunicator-in-chief."

Cruz made headlines last week when she slammed the federal government for its slow response to the storm and pleaded for help from anyone able to provide it.

"I am going to do what I never thought I would do. I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying," Cruz said in a tearful news conference last Friday. "We are dying, and you are killing us with inefficiency and bureaucracy."

On Twitter, Trump claimed the mayor had been told by Democrats that she must be "nasty" to him.

"Actually, I was asking for help," she later said. "I wasn't saying anything nasty about the president."

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