DeSantis, Scott disagree with Trump over Puerto Rico death toll claim

President Donald Trump’s false claim of a Democratic plot to inflate the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria drew rebuttals from two of his top GOP allies in Florida and set off a firestorm of condemnation by Democrats and Puerto Ricans.His remarks in a pair of Twitter posts Thursday morning that the official toll of 2,975 was inflated by Democrats “in order to make me look as bad as possible” comes as candidates from both parties are heavily wooing Puerto Rican voters in Central Florida, a pivotal voting bloc in the general election.

“I disagree with @POTUS - an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. (Ricardo) Rosselló agreed,” Gov. Rick Scott, a candidate for U.S. Senate and one of Trump’s biggest supporters in Florida stated on Twitter. “I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching. I'll continue to help PR.”

Ron DeSantis, the GOP nominee for governor whom Trump has endorsed and frequently mentions in stump speeches, also distanced himself from Trump on the issue.

“Ron DeSantis is committed to standing with the Puerto Rican community, especially after such a tragic loss of life,” his spokesman Stephen Lawson said in an email. “He doesn’t believe any loss of life has been inflated. Ron is focused on continuing to help our Puerto Rican neighbors recover and create opportunities for those who have moved to Florida succeed.”

 Read more at Orlando Sentinel

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