President Trump on Twitter last week repeatedly denied study results which found about 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in connection to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath last year, and NBC's Chuck Todd is on the case.
He grilled Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Brock Long on the subject Sunday, asking whether FEMA accepts that estimate or if Brock believes the president's claim that Democrats commissioned the study to make him look bad. Long gave a scattershot of answers, including:
- "So, the numbers are all over the place."
- "FEMA doesn't count deaths."
- "The deaths that are verified by the local county coroners are the ones that we take."
- "One death is a death too many."
- "[O]ne thing about President Trump is, is that he is probably the one president that has had more support for what goes on back here."
- "I don't know why the studies were done."
In perhaps his most unfortunate turn of phrase, Long noted that "spousal abuse goes through the roof" after a natural disaster," and added, "You can't blame spousal abuse, you know, after a disaster on anybody." Well, anybody except the spousal abuser.
Watch an excerpt of Long's comments below, and read his full remarks in context here. Bonnie Kristian
WATCH: On the studies counting deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria last year, Chuck asks @FEMA_Brock, "Do you believe any of these studies were done to make the president look bad?"@FEMA_Brock: "I don’t know why the studies were done." #MTP pic.twitter.com/8opgYEOUjY
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 16, 2018