UPDATED: As the death toll in Hurricane Florence climbed to five, President Donald Trump squeezed out more tweets insisting the number of deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria in a government funded study is horseradish served up by Democrats and journalists to attack him.

Our president has been working up a froth all evening on the subject. Most recently he railed, “‘When Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.’ The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, ‘3000 PEOPLE KILLED’.”

“They hired……GWU Research to tell them how may people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?) This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER – NO WAY!”

Trump’s meltown began earlier in the evening, apparently when he began watching Fox News:

“They say all these people died in the storm in Puerto Rico, yet 70% of power was out before the storm. So when did people start dying?” he began in this afternoon’s tweetstorm.

“At what point do you recognize that what they are doing is a political agenda couched in the nice language of journalism?”

That was not original material, being the remarks made on Fox News by Geraldo Rivera, to whom Trump drew attention in the tweet. Geraldo has been busy defending Trump on Hurricane Maria:

Later tonight, Trump ranted some more, quoting other Fox News personalites:

And, as the day drew to a close, Fox had so bunched Trump’s undies, he began tweet-ranting over this:

As Trump loses his mind on Twitter, Hurricane Florence rescue efforts continue in the Carolinas.  As of time of writing, five deaths in North Carolina are being attributed to Florence.

A mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their house around 9:30 AM local time Friday. The father was pulled alive from the home and taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

A 78 year-old man died while trying to plug in a generator, reportedly connecting two extension cords outside in the rain. And a 77 year-old man died Friday morning when he was blown over in severe wind while taking care of his dogs.

Trump’s Hurricane Maria mania has been going on for days. He first boasted of the “incredible unsung success” the administration achieved handling last year’s hurricane in Puerto Rico, when a reporter asked, this past September 11, if there were lessons learned from that storm as he commemorated the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed 3K in NYC, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Trump shot back that the Hurricane Maria response was an “unsung success.” Researchers, if not Trump, have blamed Maria and aftermath for nearly 3K deaths that followed in Puerto Rico.

 

Breaking from presidential tradition, Trump has spent the days that followed high-five-ing himself for his administration’s response to the hurricane that slammed Puerto Rico last season, though, he says, he was hampered  hampered by San Juan Mayor Carmon Yulin Cruz, and the whole “island” thing.

Days later, Trump’s fury has not subsided:

Earlier this month, Puerto Rico’s governor formally raised the death toll from Hurricane Maria to an estimated 2,975 from 64, following the study conducted by researchers at The George Washington University at the federal government’s request. The university study included Puerto Ricans who died of the heat, lack of water, lack of power, and other results of the storm; they had not been previously counted in official figures.