As President Trump touts his administration's readiness for Hurricane Florence, he is taking criticism for questioning the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.

The Puerto Rican government recently raised the official death count from the terrible storm and aftermath to nearly 3,000, but Trump cast doubt on that figure, claiming the Democrats inflated the number to make him look "as bad as possible."

Trump's remarks were criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including some of the his strongest supporters, such as Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and current Florida governor and Senate candidate Rick Scott.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) slammed Trump, saying it's shameful that he would try to make the deaths of nearly 3,000 American citizens into "a story about himself and his political fortunes."

On "Outnumbered" on Thursday, Melissa Francis said she doesn't understand why Trump weighed in on the matter, calling it "incredibly distasteful" to debate Maria's death toll as another deadly hurricane bears down.


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"I understand the president's frustration in the sense that he has worked very hard to help Puerto Rico ... that the effort to help them has been herculean," Francis said. "But to take up on the issue of how many people are dead is so disgusting."

Steve Hilton agreed that it's "completely unseemly" to be preoccupied with a political argument in the face of another potential human catastrophe.

Katie Pavlich said there can be valid questions about how death tolls are determined and whether the federal or local government is more responsible, but that's an argument for another time.

"That's a huge distraction from the preparedness for this current hurricane," she said.

Watch more from "Outnumbered" above.


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