Stephen Colbert, Chelsea Handler & More Respond to Trump's Puerto Rico Tweet

Trump called the death toll a plot by Democrats to make him look bad.

"He's talking about the one a year ago because he's been tweeting a lot about how good a job he did responding to Hurricane Maria that decimated Puerto Rico last year, resulting in the death of nearly 3,000 American citizens". Trump said there were "6 to 18 deaths" shortly after the storm hit Puerto Rico in 2017.

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace unleashed fury on President Donald Trump on Thursday for claiming that the almost 3,000-person death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was an inflated number promoted by Democrats. "If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Trump should fly down to the island immediately, look these 2,975 families in the eye, and tell them their loved one wasn't killed by Hurricane Maria".

Cora said the issue does not lie with how many deaths were reported, but simply that there were people affected who were hurting for an extended period of time.

Shortly after Trump's comments, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz shot back at the president. The new number was adopted as the official death toll by the island's government.

The Trump administration has been widely criticized for its response to Hurricane Maria a year ago, when the storm devastated the island and crippled its infrastructure. "Do you think President Trump is in the oval office saying, 'How can we make it worse for Puerto Ricans?"

The president has also questioned the findings of a detailed study commissioned by the Puerto Rico's government and claimed that its conclusion was politically motivated.

The storm made landfall with winds close to 150 miles per hour on 17 September and plowed a path of destruction across the island, causing property damage estimated at $90 billion (£68.8 billion) and leaving much of the island without electricity for months.

Political officials from both sides of the aisle condemned the president's statements and said they believed the death toll. "But I don't agree with a lot of stuff that he says about us".

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence barreled toward North Carolina.

"It was one of the best jobs ever done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said Tuesday at a briefing, referring to the Hurricane Maria response.

  • Jon Douglas