House Speaker Ryan doesn't dispute Puerto Rico death toll

Donald Trump says Hurricane Maria’s Puerto Rico death toll is a ploy to make him “look bad”

Trump's jarring comments, coming as the East Coast braced for a massive storm, offered fresh evidence of his resistance to criticism and his insistence on viewing large and small events through the prism of his own success or failure.

Just as soon as he tweeted the claim, people retaliated.

Trump was torn apart online for his tweets. But Trump hasn't been able to let the matter go.

Some blamed the media. When pressed on the tweets, Cornyn grew frustrated. "It's kinda like he was on trial for littering, and he said on the stand, 'I only threw that cup out of my window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over".

Some appeared to be working to calm the president down. After the total was revised August 28, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she did not actively dispute the revised figure.

Hurricane Maria hit on September 20, 2017, about two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit the island. "That is just what happened".

Cora told reporters he respects Trump, but noted that he doesn't "agree with a lot of stuff he says about us".

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The emergency response to Maria became highly politicized as the Trump administration was criticised as being slow to recognise the extent of the devastation and too sluggish in providing disaster relief to Puerto Rico, an island of more than 3 million residents.

Remember the political damage that President George W. Bush suffered because of his mishandling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005? He said he wants to find out more about what the numbers are, and thinks Congress should look into it.

Marty Bahamonde, director of disaster operations for FEMA's Office of External Affairs, said in an interview Thursday that the agency had been storing the water in more than 1,100 containers on the island at a cost of about $300,000 per day before moving the supplies outdoors in January. Last month, Rossello accepted the study's conclusion that almost 3,000 people died as a result of the storm's effects.

A small number of Republicans seemed to side with the president. His ally, Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló, also attacked Trump, saying, "No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called "successful" because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states". Trump wrote on Twitter.

That finding wasn't the result of a traditional death-toll accounting, but a public health study that compared mortality in the six months following the storm with the number of deaths that would have been expected if it had not hit the island.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who ran against Trump for president, said that "even tragedy" is politicized these days.

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