President Donald Trump tried to downplay the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans reported lost in the wake of Hurricane Maria by an independent study, with Trump claiming that “Democrats” altered the study to “make me look as bad as possible.”
The study, commissioned by Puerto Rico and carried out by George Washington University, found 2,975 people died in the aftermath of Maria, a grueling six-month period in which many lacked electricity.
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted, claiming, without evidence, that the numbers were inflated. “If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list.”
Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence barreled toward North Carolina.
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Trump, none too busy, picks a fight online
Trump cleared his public schedule Thursday to reportedly track Florence’s movements as the deadly storm approached. That left him with enough phone time to insult Jamie Dimon, the J.P. Morgan Chase CEO who said he could beat Trump in 2020 because he’s “smarter than he is.” The president of the United States countered with a tweet claiming Dimon lacked “‘smarts'” (with unnecessary quote marks) and is a “nervous mess.” Here’s a history of back-and-forths between the two billionaires.
It’s FEMA’s time to shine. And its top official is under investigation.
Hurricane Florence began battering North Carolina on Thursday night, beginning an onslaught that will provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to repair its bruised reputation following the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
That morning, Politico reported that FEMA’s top official, Brock Long, may have “misused government resources and personnel,” sparking a Department of Homeland Security investigation. Brock on Thursday said that “if we made mistakes with the way a program was run, then we’ll work … to get this corrected.”
The investigation reportedly stemmed from Long’s habit of having a government driver take him on weekend commutes back to his home in Hickory, North Carolina.
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