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Trump states Puerto Rico hurricane death count was plot by Dems to make him look bad

FILE - President Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser in Fargo, N.D., Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. Trump is making his second visit to North Dakota's biggest city within 10 weeks to campaign for Senate candidate Kevin Cramer, this time to help Cramer build up his finances. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is rejecting the widely accepted death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, claiming without citing evidence that "3,000 people did not die." Trump called the count a move by Democrats to make him look bad.

Trump tweeted Thursday as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas. He said: "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000..."

Puerto Rico's governor raised the U.S. territory's official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found the number of people who succumbed in the aftermath had been severely undercounted.

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