1 year later: Political storm over Puerto Rico

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All told, about 1,800 people died in that 2005 storm.

In recent days, Trump publicly lauded his own administration's response to Maria and privately groused over storm-related news coverage that he saw as overly focused on Puerto Rico, according to two Republican advisers close to the White House who weren't authorized to speak publicly.

He said: "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths".

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports.

On Thursday, Trump, without citing evidence, said that number was wrong and called it a plot by Democrats to make him look bad.

"They hired.GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?)", Trump added.

Like many Puerto Ricans who fled to the mainland after Hurricane Maria, Jose Santiago has been scrambling to find a place to live.

Trump cast doubt on the storm's widely accepted death toll Thursday, tweeting that "3000 people did not die" when Maria hit after a near-miss by Hurricane Irma in September, 2017.

Almost every study and report into the hurricane estimates a significantly higher toll than the early official estimates mentioned by the president.

A photograph, taken Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, of the stockpiled water in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

The storms knocked out all of the Caribbean island's electricity.

"I don't want to comment on what the president said", said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who went on to ask why estimates of the dead had sharply increased over the previous year.

Carlson accused Avenatti of using "reckless rhetoric on a subject you don't really understand", to which Avenatti responded, "I stand by my words, and I think for you to lecture me about reckless rhetoric is rather ironic, Tucker, in light of some of the reckless rhetoric you engage in each and every day on this show".

Cora indicated that the Puerto Rican people are continuing their efforts to a return to normalcy.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, whose staffers held office hours at three central Florida hotels this week to assist evacuees, put the blame on President Donald Trump and a Republican-dominated Congress that did not pass supplemental disaster relief assistance.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Puerto Rico's official death toll from Maria, which the territorial government dramatically increased to 2,975 in August after commissioning a study by George Washington University.

Ottmar Chavez, now administrator of Puerto Rico's General Services Administration, said FEMA reported that it had about 20,000 pallets of bottled water in excess in May this year, before Chavez was appointed.

As the United States braces itself for Hurricane Florence, it seems Trump is still determined to make people believe he did a great job during Hurricane Maria. I don't know if it was efficient, it was enough. It's not that hurricanes can't kill that many people or more.

Adam Goodman, a Republican consultant who supported Trump before the election and early in his presidency but has now become a critic, said the comments are certain to anger voters already inclined to vote Democratic in November.

"We stand by the science underlying our study", the statement said.

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