"When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths".
A sweeping report from George Washington University released last month estimated there were 2,975 "excess deaths" in the six months after the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017.
During times of trouble and strife, the American people look to their president for guidance and reassurance that the government can handle a crisis, but as Hurricane Florence comes barreling toward the Carolinas, they won't be getting any of that from President Trump, Seth Meyers said on Wednesday's Late Night.
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.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", he declared.
This is a developing story.
But perhaps worst of all is the fact that Trump is using words like "tremendous" and "success" to describe a response to a storm that ultimately killed nearly 3,000 people, more than the roughly 1,800 killed by Hurricane Katrina and about the same number of people who were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"Puerto Rico was, actually, our toughest one of all because it's an island, so you just - you can't truck things onto it. We're able", Trump said.
Last month she described Mr Trump's handling of Maria as a "stain on his presidency".
Trump said in an early morning tweet that his administration got "A pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)". Puerto Rico's government has acknowledged that its emergency plans were designed for a Category 1 hurricane, as well as failures to follow those plans and communications breakdowns.
"The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and un-American".
Survey respondents gave higher marks to the Puerto Rican government, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, the federal government and municipal governments.
That assessment brought sharp rebukes from officials in Puerto Rico and congressional Democrats.