Steeling for Hurricane Florence, Trump seeks praise for Maria

Resident Mirian Medina stands on her property about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island

Resident Mirian Medina stands on her property about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island

President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that the administration's response to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria past year was "an incredible, unsung success".

The president praised the response to the series of storms that battered the United States previous year, saying, "I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success".

"I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said, noting that the island location is "tough" during a hurricane due to the inability to transport vital equipment and supplies by truck.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico ... as time went by it did not go up by much", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

FEMA has confirmed that a huge stockpile of bottled water, sent to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, has been sitting on a runway for a year - despite Donald Trump branding the United States response an incredible success. But are we? And does Trump have any room to talk now that Puerto Rico has revised its death toll from Hurricane Maria to around 3,000? They did not die of old age, they died of neglect.

In response to the president's comments, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello issued a statement Tuesday on "the worst natural disaster in our modern history".

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It determined that the government of Puerto Rico did not do enough in the early days following the storm to stem misreporting.

The president raised eyebrows Tuesday when he touted the response efforts in a meeting to go over preparations for the potentially devastating Hurricane Florence inching toward the Carolinas. With Eli Sanders on vacation, Rich Smith asks Dan Savage and Katie Herzog to tell us how prepared we really are, and to speculate about whether we'll ever be prepped enough. Before the report, the estimation was that only 64 people died, which many criticized was too low of a number. The book is filled with interviews with people who, while believing Trump is unfit for office, still work for him and claim that they are able to manage him.

With Hurricane Florence fast approaching the southeastern USA and due to make landfall on Thursday, Trump pointed to his administration's emergency preparedness, saying he handled the situation in Puerto Rico well, despite what critics said.

Millions have been ordered to evacuate their homes as the storm rages closer to the mainland.

Upset by what he saw as a lackluster aid response from the Trump administration, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló launched a nonpartisan 501 (c)(4) organization in April to try to hold USA politicians accountable.

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