George Washington University stood by the science behind its findings, calling the figure of 2,975 deaths "the most accurate and unbiased estimate of excess mortality to date". Trump visited the island in early October to assess the situation amid widespread criticism over the recovery efforts.
The Trump administration has faced other scrutiny over its handling of last year's hurricanes in recent months.
"I thought you all wanted to talk about the Kavanaugh nomination", he said.
"I have no reason to dispute those numbers", Ryan added.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Trump's tweets "shameful" and said the president owes "3,000 families in Puerto Rico an apology". He also said he thought Trump "sees every attack on him as sort of undercutting his legitimacy".
On Wednesday, Puerto Rican officials said about 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Maria went unused and became too contaminated to drink. "I don't think it's bad to say we could have done better in Puerto Rico". The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching.
The White House defended the president on Thursday.
"As the President said, every death from Hurricane Maria is a horror".
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump wrote.
He ripped the Mayor of San Juan for allegedly playing the political game.
Along with post-storm conditions, each death has a complex mix of causes making it hard to definitively apportion blame in every case.
"This is what denial following neglect looks like", declared San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in response to Trump's tweets.
She then added, "It's sad to me that a natural disaster has to get political, I don't think President Trump is exclusively to blame for what happened, Puerto Rico had a number of its own problems before Maria even hit, they were filing for bankruptcy".
The deaths fell in two categories: direct and indirect.
The official death toll later grew to 64, a figure that included "indirect deaths" connected to the hurricane.
Echoing Cruz's condemnation of Trump's tweets, Democratic lawmakers also expressed outrage that the president would attempt to downplay the number of people who died as a result of a natural disaster and US government neglect.
August 28, the government of Puerto Rico officially announced the death toll from Hurricane Maria as 2,975 making it the most severe natural disaster in the island's history.
POTUS seems to be forgetting the fact there was nearly ZERO electricity or clean water on the island for several months - factors that increased deaths according to several investigative reports.
"I'm not to blame for this", Trump said about Maria at one point, according to one of his advisers.
"In light of this, we have been in contact with FEMA and the Department of Health to test the water inventory received by the federal agency".
Puerto Rico's government is run by the New Progressive Party, a pro-statehood, Puerto Rico-only party made up of both Republicans and Democrats. Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CBS New York on Thursday that he was a Democrat but stressed that the government sought the study and said it "tried to make this process a completely independent process".
Likewise, the candidates running for Florida governor quickly responded to Trump's attempts to undermine the latest death toll.
Meanwhile, in SC , at least one gator seemed to be cool with the outer bands of wind and rain that whipped the Myrtle Beach area. Cooper cited a National Weather Service forecast that said almost the entire state could be covered in several feet of water.
And Hurricane Florence will take aim at the Southeast coast of the United States late this week, likely as a major hurricane . Evacuation orders have been lifted in several coastal SC counties as Florence continues to dump rain on the state.
US crude oil exports were up by 787,000 b/d (nearly 80 percent) from the first half of a year ago to the first half of 2018. Eyes will be on Iranian oil import data from China and India who typically import around 500-700k barrels.
Its forward movement slowed to 12 miles per hour (19 kph) and top sustained winds stayed at 110 miles per hour (175 kph). Tornadoes also remain a threat, particularly in areas northeast of the hurricane's eye.
Despite the fact the Belgian didn't start Chelsea's first two games of the season, he's already notched five goals for the season. Jamaal Lascelles will be assessed ahead of Newcastle United's visit to Selhurst Park after being forced off against Arsenal .
Waffle House is so crucial when a storm hits because the 24-hour chain often stays open when the weather gets bad. In order to remain open during risky conditions, Waffle House plans carefully - and in advance - for each storm.
An additional 25 percent of deaths are related to rain, he said. "Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different". Jeff Byard of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings.
These include Donnybrook strawberries and those sold by the Woolworths Group under the Berry Obsession and Berry Licious names. A Queensland man posted this photo of a strawberry with a needle in it after reporting his friend swallowed one.
Cruz had earlier described the federal disaster response in the United States territory a "despicable act of neglect". DeSantis spokesman Stephen Lawson said the former congressman "doesn't believe any loss of life has been inflated".
Florence pours on the rain amid fears of catastrophic floods
It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina. The casualties include a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina .
As Florence moves west, North Carolina prepares for recovery
There have been at least 11 storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. The triple punch of falling rain, rising rivers and coastal storm surges was already triggering catastrophic floods.
Turkey bans property rent, sales in foreign currency
Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Thursday said interest rates are a " tool of exploitation " and called for low interest rates. Erdogan has no longer helped his case by doubling down on his intransigence some other time the US , analysts remark.