President Trump on Thursday falsely accused Democrats of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago, rejecting a government assessment that the storm had claimed almost 3,000 lives.
Hurricane Maria and Irma hit Puerto Rico a year ago and knocked out power in the US territory for months. A USA territory since 1898, Puerto Rico's inhabitants are citizens, though they can not vote in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.
President Trump on Thursday claimed the number of people who died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico "did not go up by much" beyond the initial counts that were released just after the storm and put the death toll in the single or low double digits. They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila!
As the Inquisitr reported, Trump's denial of the official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was described as "warped", "absurd", "vile", and "grotesque".
He then stressed: "So he can say whatever he wants to say and his base will believe whatever they want to believe", but those watching the show will hear Trump's claims about Puerto Rico are not true.
Trump told confidants that the media was underplaying the challenging circumstances in Puerto Rico and trying to exploit the storm to attack him. That study - conducted by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University - estimated 2,975 deaths.
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He said it was "not helpful" for either the president or one of his chief critics on the administration's response, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, "to be talking about it in a political way".
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".
"We made a lot of changes in real time in addition to the high-level efforts that we learned through our after-action process".
Navarro said Thursday that that was because the president's tweets were politically damaging for those associated with him.
Members of both parties on Capitol Hill disagreed with the president's statements.
But Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello, a Republican, reaffirmed in a statement Thursday that the revised study was sanctioned by his administration and should be considered the "official number".
And, somehow, he played the politics card by blaming Democrats for the count, unbelievably making the deaths of 3,000 Americans a partisan issue.
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Maria hit past year as Trump was feeling positive about the handling of massive hurricanes in Florida and Texas and hoping to use those efforts to stem a tide of negative press.
Interested in Puerto Rico? Its inhabitants are US citizens, though they are barred from voting in presidential elections and have only one congressional representative with limited voting powers.
"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.
He said: "With 3,000 people dead, for the president to say that Puerto Rico was a success, a triumph of his presidency is simply delusional".
Top Republicans broke from Trump's assessment.
Trump, who has struggled to express public empathy at times of national crises, sparked outrage during his post-Maria visit when he feuded with San Juan mayor and passed out paper towels to victims like he was shooting baskets.
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