A woman prays in front of hundreds of shoes that were displayed in memory of those killed by Hurricane Maria.
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U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday rejected the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria, arguing without evidence that the number was wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him "look as bad as possible".Trump visited the island in early October to assess the situation amid widespread criticism over the recovery efforts.Trump began to focus on Hurricane Florence earlier this week, calling for an Oval Office briefing with the FEMA director to warn about the threat.Throughout the week, Trump has repeatedly defended his administration's efforts in Puerto Rico, calling it an "incredible, unsung success" and renewed his verbal spat with Cruz, the San Juan mayor.Trump, one official who was not authorized to speak publicly said, was unwilling to admit even internally that more needed to be done on the island.
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