"I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful", Trump said, noting that the island location is "tough" during a hurricane due to the inability to transport vital equipment and supplies by truck. "By the way, if the federal government cares that much, they shouldn't have left it to all the journalists and universities to just have to go there and look into this, which is what ended up happening because the federal government didn't do an exact count".
Trump, who famously DVRs news programs for later viewing, must have finally caught up with the controversy caused by comments he made on Tuesday in which he said his response to Hurricane Maria was "tremendous". The Category 4 hurricane is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in almost 30 years. The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and unAmerican. "We're ready. We're as ready as anybody's ever been".
"If (Trump) doesn't learn from his mistakes, he's going to make them again and people are going to continue to die".
With all eyes on Hurricane Florence, a Facebook post is casting fresh doubts on the federal government's response past year to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. @FEMA has had/known about this water - as have many of us here in Puerto Rico - since early 2018.
The president defended the federal government's "fantastic job" in Puerto Rico.
2:15 p.m. update: Strengthening Florence causing rip currents, swells
If you're looking to track the storm's path and stay updated as it approaches the coast, we've rounded up a few resources below. In this September 28, 2017 photo, destroyed communities are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico.
"Potentially, Hurricane Isaac right now is tracking south of the island, but we are - we had several thousand people inside Puerto Rico right now working on long-term recovery that has shifted to the response mode to monitor, as Isaac passes to the south", Long replied. He called on the governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello to launch an official independent investigation into the incident.
The elderly and impoverished were hardest hit by the storm.
The president has consistently applauded the Maria response, even as the estimates of deaths in Puerto Rico caused by the storm have climbed from 64 to 2,975 people, making it the deadliest hurricane to hit America in more than a century.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has been criticizing the Trump administration for a year for what she said was a failure to provide needed assistance after the September 2017 storm.
The president praised the response to the series of storms that battered the United States a year ago, saying, "I think Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success".