White House defends Trump on Puerto Rico death toll claim

Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane FlorenceMore

Trump promises all-out response to Hurricane FlorenceMore

President Trump is facing widespread backlash after he tried to claim Tuesday that his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year was "an incredible unsung success", in response to questions about what we could learn from Hurricane Maria as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas coast. "It was just such a powerful storm", the congressman said, adding that he believes Trump "has been, I think, overly criticized for his response".

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico ... as time went by it did not go up by much", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he doesn't believe 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico a year ago as a result of Hurricanes Maria and Irma - a claim that drew swift criticism from members of both parties.

Trump had questioned the findings of a study released last month by George Washington University that examined the toll from Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico's General Services Administration said back in May that the agency received around 20,000 pallets of water through a federal government program to distribute excess supplies, the agency said in a statement to ABC News. "Those are just the facts of what happens when a awful hurricane hits an isolated place like an island".

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".

Connolly says that in light of Hurricane Florence reaching the Carolinas, the president should be focused on marshalling all resources to respond to a potential catastrophic storm. How many people actually died from this hurricane? Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that he thinks "the president sees every attack on him as sort of undercutting his legitimacy".

"Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES".

Puerto Rico didn't restore power across the island until last month, meaning some residents on the island lacked power for almost a year after the hurricane.

He argued that the thousands who died were counted after "a long time" after the two hurricanes hit the island. Looking ahead, it provides insight into Puerto Rican residents' priorities for rebuilding, their perceptions about the relationship between Puerto Rico and the mainland United States, and their concerns about future storms.

A defense, with a mistake: While on CNN, Rick Santorum defended the Trump administration's response to Maria, saying that while FEMA plays a big role, the primary responsibility lies with the "country of Puerto Rico". While Puerto Ricans were still dying as a result of the hurricane - due to shortages of electricity and medical care - Trump informed the island's inhabitants that they should be grateful that his efforts had spared them from suffering a "real catastrophe like Katrina".

Trump is defensive "because he knows how hard these guys behind me work day in and day out for a very complex situation", Long said.

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