Trump falsely says Democrats inflated Puerto Rico 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

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

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that 3,000 people did not die in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, and said the number was made up by the Democratic party "to make me look as bad as possible".

"As time went by it did not go up by much", Trump wrote.

Trump's Thursday morning tweets focused on a George Washington University study released last month that examined the toll from Hurricane Maria.

Trump claimed via Twitter "3,000 people did not die in the two hurricanes in Puerto Rico".

Kaniewski defended the decision, amid a tense time for the agency, as President Trump lauded the agency's handling of the hurricane and disputed an analysis that put the death toll at almost 3,000 people - while Hurricane Florence started slamming into the Carolinas.

"What is offensive to many of us is that even though the president dropped the ball, he is now doing a victory dance in the end zone. But I don't agree with a lot of stuff that he says about us".

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At his weekly news conference today, Ryan said, "Casualties don't make a person look bad".

The president ignited controversy when he tweeted that the approximate 3,000 death toll was inflated by Democrats. "My only consideration was the well-being of the Puerto Rican people".

"Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim", said Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. Just 75 have been approved by the Trump administration so far because of eligibility questions.

Trump's praise on Twitter for his handling of the government's recovery operations on Puerto Rico came after he told reporters that the rescue effort there was an "incredible, unsung success".

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted to the president on Thursday: "Shame on you", including a picture of his tweet.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump hailed the U.S. response in Puerto Rico as "an incredible, unsung success".

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A clear pattern emerged from the analysis: The mortality rate spiked in the months after the storm, particularly in the poorest areas of Puerto Rico, and among elderly males.

Trump kept tweeting about the death toll on Thursday, as Hurricane Florence barreled toward the Carolinas.

The Republican president went on to accuse Democrats of inflating the death toll to make him look bad, without providing evidence. Gutierrez said. "I pray that his response to the current disaster unfolding along the East Coast will be better and more empathetic".

George Washington University found thousands more people died on the island after Maria than deaths in previous years. Puerto Ricans are a key potential voting bloc in Florida's closely contested elections.

Nerybelle Perez holds a picture of her father, World War II veteran Efrain Perez, who died inside an ambulance after being turned away from the largest public hospital when it had no electricity or water, days after Hurricane Maria passed, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, June 7, 2018.

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