Trump claims 3,000 ‘did not die’ in Puerto Rico, blames Democrats

President Trump talks about Hurricane Florence after a briefing in the Oval Office on Sept. 11 2018

President Trump talks about Hurricane Florence after a briefing in the Oval Office on Sept. 11 2018

Cruz told Reuters on Wednesday that people facing Hurricane Florence, a slow-moving Category 3 storm due to hit the Carolinas, could die unless Trump learned lessons a year ago when Maria slammed into the USA commonwealth.

President Donald Trump is denying that 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted Thursday morning. If a person died for any given reason, such as old age, just add them to the list.

Connolly called the President's characterization of the federal response to Maria "monstrous fiction that costs lives".

A vast shipment of water bottles that were meant to be delivered to victims of 2017's destructive Hurricane Maria appear to be still sitting, unused one year later, on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. You dismissed the gravity of their predicament and utterly failed in your responsibility as president.

Why is Mr Trump so sensitive about the reported death toll? "I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success".

"If he thinks that's an unparalleled success, God only knows what he would think a failure would be", Connolly said on CNN's "The Situation Room".

When asked what he planned on telling President Trump, Long said he was going to "let him know we're pre-positioned the best we can be".

In response to Trump, Rosselló said, "the hurricane took the lives of 2,975 people".

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And on Wednesday, Trump repeated his assessment that his team got high marks for the responses to hurricanes in 2017 and called the mayor of San Juan, who has been critical of Trump, "totally incompetent".

As for the nearly $50 billion in federal funds already approved by Congress for Puerto Rico's rebuilding, Cruz said most of it had not been disbursed by the federal government.

Calling the response to Maria "a challenge to the conscience of our nation", Pelosi announced at the press conference that a delegation of 16 Democrats visited the USA territory in July to determine what should be done to further assist islanders.

Levine, who expressed pride over Scott's "humility" in efforts to assist a post-storm Puerto Rico, went on to say he didn't blame the president for the deaths, "but fighting over it now is beneath him".

Aside from the claims made in Trump's latest tweets, many lawmakers said Thursday that they were troubled by the continuing debate over the response to Maria at a time when officials should be focused on Florence. "We see it that way".

"He should resign at once - and this Republican-led Congress must stop being complacent and finally conduct a comprehensive investigation - as we did after Katrina - into how 2,975 were allowed to die", Thompson said in a statement.

Puerto Rico's governor raised the United States territory's official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found the number of people who died in the aftermath had been severely under-counted.

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