Trump on Hurricane Maria

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro North Carolina

Privately, some White House officials were exasperated with the president's focus on Puerto Rico at a time when Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas and other coastal areas.

When asked what he planned on telling President Trump, Long said he was going to "let him know we're pre-positioned the best we can be".

Trump will travel to the region early to middle of next week and the trip will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts, according to Sanders.

Almost a year after Hurricane Maria barreled across the Caribbean and devastated Puerto Rico, the island has become the focal point of a stormy political debate involving Congress and the White House over how the Trump Administration responded to the disaster.

At one point, while serving food, he joked about his hands being "too big" to fit in the plastic gloves.

"I agree I've made mistakes", Rosselló said.

"It's been done very efficiently and very well", he added, referencing the recovery efforts.

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".

Trump blamed the Democrats, but as CNN noted, initial estimates of six to 13 deaths came from Puerto Rico's public safety director, reporting figures provided by mayors.


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

"When I left the Island, after the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths", Trump tweeted. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!' Trump wrote.

"The idea that a year after the fact we're complaining - look, we've gone back in and done a really pretty awesome job of trying to rebuild", said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), noting the island's infrastructure was in poor shape before the hurricane.

In this September 4, 2018 photo, Gloria Rosado Ortiz holds a photograph of her late husband Ernesto Curiel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 4, 2018.

George Washington University said in a statement that it stands by its study.

Maria devastated the island in September 2017 and knocked out the entire electricity grid.

At the same time, the top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, said he had no reason to dispute the official death toll, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio said tragedy should not be politicised.

"Although you don't believe it... nearly a million boxes of water that were never delivered to the villages", posted Abdiel Santana, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican state police agency who took the pictures.

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