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Trump on major storm approaching Puerto Rico: 'Will it ever end?'

The Hill logo The Hill 8/27/2019 Brett Samuels
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President Trump on Tuesday responded to another tropical storm headed for Puerto Rico by citing an inflated figure he claimed his administration allocated to aid the island's recovery after Hurricane Maria.

"Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for 'anywhere,' " Trump tweeted.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. government provided $92 billion in aid for Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. But several fact-checkers have noted that is not the case.

NBC News reported in July that Congress had allocated roughly $43 billion for Puerto Rico, but that the island had received less than $14 billion as of May. Trump signed a bill in June providing $1 billion more in assistance.

With the island still recovering from Maria nearly two years later, Tropical Storm Dorian is making its way toward the coast of the U.S. territory. Puerto Rican officials have declared an emergency in preparation for the storm, which is expected to grow stronger as it approaches the island.

Trump has frequently boasted about his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in the face of widespread criticism from Democrats and island officials about its organization and urgency. He has at various points called the government's response "fantastic," an "unsung success" and graded it a "10."

A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government found that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the storm. The island adopted that as the official death toll, increasing it from 64.

Trump later claimed without evidence that the numbers were inflated to make him look bad.

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