Trump challenges Puerto Rico’s official death toll, blames Democrats

Trump challenges Puerto Rico’s official death toll, blames Democrats


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday challenged the official death toll for those who lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Maria last year, claiming on Twitter that “3,000 people did not die.”

Firing off a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump claimed that the high number, which was reached through an independent study from George Washington University, was politically motivated.

“This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible,” Trump said. “Bad politics.”

The president provided no evidence supporting his assertion.

Trump’s comments come as Hurricane Florence approaches North and South Carolina.

As the storm approaches, Trump has frequently revisited his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that Puerto Rico was an “unsung success,” prompting pushback from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. On Wednesday, Trump blasted the mayor on twitter as “incompetent.”

Puerto Rico formally raised its death toll last month from 64 to 2,975.

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