GOP lawmaker tears into Trump's 'warped mind' after tweet questioning Puerto Rico death toll

Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenCook moves status of 6 House races as general election sprint begins The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (R-Fla.) on Thursday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE over his tweet claiming that statistics showing that nearly 3,000 were killed in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were falsely inflated.

Ros-Lehtinen told reporters that Trump has a “warped mind that would turn this statistic into fake news” about himself.

“It might be a new low,” she said. “Boy, that’s saying something … How could you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much?”

Trump’s accusation came in a pair of tweets Thursday morning, in which he disputed a report commissioned by the Puerto Rican government that found the death toll from last year’s hurricane season was 2,975, up significantly from its original count of 64.

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“3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”

“This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico,” he continued. “If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!”

The Hill has reached out to Ros-Lehtinen’s office for further comment. The longtime GOP lawmaker, who is not seeking reelection, has not shied away from calling Trump out on some of his comments.

Trump has repeatedly touted his response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico as the U.S. prepares for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the East Coast this week.

--Updated at 11:06 a.m.