The comments came days after Trump made unsupported claims that the official death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was deliberately boosted by Democrats to make him look "as bad as possible" even as he was raising "billions of dollars" to rebuild the island territory.
"The bottom line is, we push forward on that authority as much as we can", he said on CBS' "Face the Nation".
He said: "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths".
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But last Thursday, the Post published a story that referred to the "death toll" in Puerto Rico and said, "Trump denied large-scale casualties from the Puerto Rico hurricane".
The White House says the George Washington University study tried to predict how many people would have died over that period had Hurricane Maria not occurred and then compared that to an estimate of deaths that did occur. "He contended that the crucial figure is 'direct deaths - which is the wind, the water and the waves, buildings collapsing". "They should be ashamed of themselves and they should be apologizing to the American public and the people of Puerto Rico who have had to go through this now again, the number of deaths without again, evidence, without death certificates, without burials, without any factual basis for an analysis of what is Puerto Rico's, one of its greatest tragedies in its history".
"You might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on, because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix their roof, they die in vehicle crashes because they went through an intersection where the stoplights weren't working". Namely, she said the issue is the "modern-day colonial relationship" between the United States and Puerto Rico.
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"Well, I think what happened in my family is what happened to thousands of Puerto Ricans", Ocasio-Cortez said. They are children with illnesses, elderly. When power is not restored, when infrastructure is not taken seriously, these are the first people who pass away in storms. He's also weathering his own storm stemming from an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) inspector general over his use of government vehicles for commuting between North Carolina and Washington.
Reports by Politico and the Wall Street Journal claimed that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had asked for Long's resignation amid concerns over his lengthy commutes back home, something Long disputes ever happened.
FEMA director Brock Long made the rounds on Sunday talk shows to discuss the administration's response to Hurricane Florence.
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"I would never intentionally violate any rules that I was aware of", he said.