Trump just doubled down on a lie about Hurricane Maria's death toll

Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz stands outside of the government center at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum days after Hurricane Maria in San Juan

Massive stockpile of bottled water found in Puerto Rico a year after Maria

Both candidates for Florida governor- plus the current governor - agree on at least one thing: President Trump is wrong when he says the latest death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was inflated to make him look bad.

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", Trump tweeted.

In August, George Washington University released a study estimating that 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

That's despite new estimates that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the storm - a number Trump now doesn't believe is accurate, blaming Democrats for inflating the number for political gain. You will never take away our self respect.

"Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him".

Trump's tweets - which came as a highly risky Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas - misrepresented the nature of the study and were harshly criticized by Democrats in Congress, as well as by some Republicans. "It was devastated. This was a terrible storm", he said. Without water, it was almost impossible to adequately care for people who were bedridden or ill. "That's not - so I have no reason to dispute these numbers".

Some of Trump's critics denounced his latest tweets and statements on how he handled the response to Maria nearly a year ago.

Ryan denies the figure reflects poorly on Trump, saying, "casualties don't make a person look bad".

Ahead of Florence striking the USA east coast, Mr Trump spoke with political leaders in the Carolinas and offered "whatever is needed", Sarah Sanders, the White House spokesman, said.

Donald Trump is facing a backlash for disputing the official number of dead in hurricanes in Puerto Rico previous year.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has been in a war of words with Trump over the federal response to Hurricane Maria, shot back minutes later Thursday morning. I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. "That is just what happened".

"Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" he tweeted.

"We've been battling through it", Cora said, via NBC Sports Boston.

Mr. Trump earlier this week described his administration's efforts in Puerto Rico as an "unsung success". Brock on Thursday said that "if we made mistakes with the way a program was run, then we'll get this corrected".

Hurricane Florence began battering North Carolina on Thursday night, beginning an onslaught that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to fix its bruised reputation following the federal response to Hurricane Maria. We don't know if it was sufficient, that it was enough, I don't know. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching.

A USA government report published this month concluded that the federal response in Puerto Rico was hampered by a lack of trained staff as well as by major logistical challenges.

"I hate that people make it a political issue", Cora said before Thursday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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