Jeb Bush weighs in on Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets: ‘Incredibly disheartening’

 Jeb Bush weighs in on Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets: ‘Incredibly disheartening’
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Jeb Bush criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE's controversial tweets about the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

"Incredibly disheartening comments from our President," Bush tweeted Thursday.

Trump beat the former Florida governor for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Trump sparked controversy earlier Thursday when he tweeted that the estimated 3,000 death toll was intentionally inflated by Democrats.

The 3,000 approximation comes from a George Washington University study that tried to total how many "excess deaths" occurred because of Hurricane Maria and would not have happened in the absence of the cyclone.

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Those involved with the study have emphasized that the 3,00 estimate is not a conclusive number and further work should be done.

"Among all the deaths that occurred, which of them were related to Maria, which of them would not have occurred if it hadn't been for the storm? We're not able to say that now," the dean of GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health, Lynn Goldman, told CNN late last month.

The president has not brought forward any evidence for his claim Democrats falsified the number.

Trump has been roundly criticized for his tweets on the left and the right, even among some of his most staunch defenders.

Still, the White House defended the president's statements Thursday.

"President Trump was responding to the liberal media and the San Juan Mayor who sadly have tried to exploit the devastation by pushing out a constant stream of misinformation and false accusations," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement Thursday to CNN.