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Trump Accuses Democrats of Altering Statistics on Hurricane Deaths in Puerto Rico

Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot on Monday Sept. 10 2018 in Wilmington N.C

"Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000", Trump tweeted out Thursday morning.

His comments came just hours after Trump, without evidence, accused Democratic lawmakers of inflating Hurricane Maria's death toll in order to "make [him] look as bad as possible".

US President Donald Trump is disputing official findings that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of last year's storms. "My only consideration was the well-being of the Puerto Rican people".

Another Trump critic, and a target of his tweets, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz tweeted, "Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him".

Huntsman cut in saying she didn't think it was fair and called it hyperbolic to say Trump was a dictator, but Hostin flattened her.

Ron DeSantis, the GOP nominee for governor whom Trump has endorsed and frequently mentions in stump speeches, also distanced himself from Trump on the issue.

When a reporter asked Trump about Maria in the Oval Office, he swiftly unleashed fact-challenged defense of his response to the hurricane.

"Mr. President. SHUT UP".

Trump told confidants that the media was underplaying the challenging circumstances in Puerto Rico and trying to exploit the storm to attack him.

"Here's a response I could respect: 'every death related, directly or indirectly, to a massive and destructive disaster, is a tragedy, ' " Levine tweeted.

Last May, Harvard University public health researchers published a study that estimated the death toll was even higher. That is only an estimate, however, since they did not study how each individual died, although they hope to conduct that study in the future. "Those are just the facts of what happens when a terrible hurricane hits an isolated place like an island". "It wasn't because this president doesn't care about Puerto Rico".

The island is still suffering power failures and around 60,000 homes still have makeshift roofs.

Trump maintained as recently as Tuesday that his response to the storm was an "incredible unsung success".

Trump has been on a rampage of self-congratulation in the days leading up to the one-year anniversary of Maria's landfall on the island.

At 6:17 a.m., Andrew Gillum, the Democrat running for Florida governor, tweeted: "No death is partisan and our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico deserved better from @realDonaldTrump before, during and after the hurricane".

Carlos Mercader, head of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, said in a statement FEMA didn't deliver the bottles to the Puerto Rican government until April, USA Today reported.

"Why wasn't there that kind of response for Puerto Rico?" she demanded to know.

"I agree I've made mistakes", Rosselló said.

But hey, at least they had plenty of paper towels.

According to the Washington Post, some research indicates that the actual death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is around 4,000.