Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who's running for Senate, broke with President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE on Thursday, pushing back on the president's claim that hurricane death estimates for Puerto Rico were inflated by Democrats.
Puerto Rico's government commissioned an independent report that raised the death toll from last year's Hurricane Maria to 2,975.
"The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching," Scott tweeted.
I disagree with @POTUS– an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Rosselló agreed. 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— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) September 13, 2018
Trump on Thursday accused Democrats, without evidence, of inflating the death toll in order “to make me look bad."
A Quinnipiac University poll from early September showed Scott in a dead heat with Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA adviser quits after request to change name of James Webb telescope denied NASA won't rename James Webb Space Telescope despite controversy FAA unveils new system to reduce planes' times on taxiway MORE (D) in the Senate race, with both candidates tied at 49 percent among likely voters.
Scott in recent weeks has been distancing himself from Trump, whose approval rating is 49 percent, with disapproval at 47 percent, according to a Morning Consult poll from August.
Trump has been largely supportive of Scott, urging him last year to run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). Trump spoke at a campaign rally for Scott in July.
Updated at 12:53 p.m.