During a visit to the island last September, Trump tossed paper towels into a crowd and told Puerto Rican officials that they should be proud the damage did not compare to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which he described as a "real catastrophe".
Earlier this month, the island's governor formally raised the death toll from the 2017 storm to an estimated 2,975 from 64 following a study conducted by researchers at George Washington University.
At a briefing with FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Tuesday to discuss preparations for Hurricane Florence, Trump was asked about lessons learned from Maria that could be applied to storm preparation this year.
Trump's tweets - which came as a highly unsafe Hurricane Florence churned toward the Carolinas - brought an immediate rebuke from Democrats in Congress.
Francis acknowledged that Puerto Rico's infrastructure was in very poor shape at the time the hurricane hit, but she nonetheless questioned whether it was appropriate to brag about the government's response to a tragedy that left thousands dead.
This is a developing story.
Wednesday morning fog, Florence track shifts west
One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches (115 centimeters) in parts of North Carolina. In Holden Beach, North Carolina, in the storm's path, longtime residents were busy securing their homes and possessions.
2 new polls show sharp drops in Trump's approval, honesty, intelligence ratings
Still, Carter stressed, Democrats nationally must "appeal to independents" who are souring on the current administration. In the new poll, less than half (46%) say Trump can manage the government effectively compared to 56% who say he cannot.
Death Toll Rises To 32 In Nangarhar Explosion
The Taliban , the country's largest insurgency, denied involvement. Two other blasts took place in Bihsud district early morning.
Interested in Donald Trump? Ed Markey (D-Mass.). "May God bless the souls of the almost 3,000 Americans that died in Puerto Rico and may he take pity on your soul, Mr. President".
Per CNN, the higher figure is "based on the findings of researchers from George Washington University in a study commissioned by the United States commonwealth's government".
"I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done", he said.
In response, the Mayor of Puerto Rico's capital San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, tweeted: "Mr Trump you can try and bully us with your tweets BUT WE KNOW OUR LIVES MATTER".
CEIBA, Puerto Rico - The stockpile of bottled water stretches down an unused runway in Ceiba.
Officials from the federal government and Puerto Rico, in emails to Reuters, on Wednesday could not say when exactly the 20,000 pallets of water arrived on the island.