By Marc Caputo (Politico) –
MIAMI — Florida Republicans are angered by President Donald Trump advancing a conspiracy theory casting doubt on Hurricane Maria’s estimated death toll in Puerto Rico. Even Trump’s two top Florida allies, Gov. Rick Scott and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, disagreed with his insensitive comments.
Exploding on Twitter two months before Election Day, Trump’s comments have the potential to intensify Boricua voter registration efforts and perhaps election turnout. And that, Republicans and Democrats say, could prove crucial in Florida’s hotly contested races for U.S. Senate and governor, which are essentially tied races.
“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. 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,” Trump wrote on Twitter, ignoring the fact that the island’s government paid for independent research to determine the death toll, which was impossible to measure after last year’s storm because it crippled every aspect of Puerto Rico’s government.