"How could you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much?"
Trump's tweet came as Hurricane Florence barreled toward the Carolina coast.
President Donald Trump made some headlines on Thursday for sending out a pair of tweets disputing reports about the number of casualties in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. That figure was then compared to the number of deaths reported from September 2017, when the hurricane hit, to February 2018, when the island still struggled with blackouts and a shortages of essential supplies on the road to recovery.
"The aftereffects, people don't talk about that", he said.
Yet, Trump insisted Hurricane Maria was an "unsung success" and the revised death toll was some ploy by Democrats to undermine him.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the GOP majority Thursday calling for the panel to request documents from the White House relating to the Puerto Rico response.
"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics".
However, the report says, "the Government of Puerto Rico does not have control over the federal land" and was unable to get to the water.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority leader, said Trump owed an apology to the 3,000 families for "the shameful attack on deceased fellow Americans".
Yulín Cruz later called Trump 'delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality'. "It is not", she said on her official Twitter account. She added: "Damn it: this is NOT about politics this was always about SAVING LIVES". Cruz had earlier described the federal disaster response in the USA territory a "despicable act of neglect". Trump's comments drew outrage, with critics pointing out that Maria led to the deaths of almost 3,000 people.
The president, who is Puerto Rico's head of state, added that he "loves Puerto Rico!"
Later in the morning, a spokesman for Republican Ron DeSantis, a close ally of the president, issued a statement Thursday that in part read: "He doesn't believe any loss of life has been inflated".
"I disagree with @POTUS- an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. (Ricardo) Rosselló agreed", Gov. Rick Scott tweeted.
State and local officials are responsible for establishing death tolls, not the federal government. Full power was restored in Puerto Rico following last year's storm only last month.