Trump stance on Puerto Rico death toll draws criticism on Capitol Hill

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Members of his own party gathered plenty of criticism earlier this week for claiming without evidence that members of the Democratic Party ginned up the death toll in order to smear the name of the President.

In a pair of tweets late Friday, Trump first quoted a Washington Post story, which recounted that he had been told only 16 people had died in the storm when he visited the island last September, shortly after Maria made landfall.

Trump recently went on another Twitter rampage, this time lying about his recovery efforts for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and Irma. "Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000..." he said, apparently in reference to the official tolls that came out months after the storm.

President Donald Trump is rejecting the official death count from Hurricane Maria and falsely accusing Democrats of inflating the Puerto Rican toll from the storm past year to make him "look as bad as possible".

"If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list", Trump tweeted.

That includes one report that estimated the death toll was 2,975 - a figure that the government of Puerto Rico has adopted as the official count.

"Mr. President- I'd very much be willing to walk you through the scientific process of the study and how [George Washington University] arrived at the excess mortality number estimate", he tweeted.

Paul Ryan
House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected Mr Trump’s claims

The study also found that the elderly and low-income Puerto Ricans were the most affected by the storm.

President Donald Trump denied this reality as a hurricane barrels toward the Carolinas.

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.

While Trump battles the media over his response to Maria, FEMA is briefing Americans on what to expect from Hurricane Florence.

"I just think if we can keep politics out of it, help those people who are suffering, I just think that's a better response".

Cruz maintains the federal government's response to the hurricane was slow and inadequate while Trump said it was a success.

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