As a New Hurricane Roars In, Trump Quarrels Over the Last One

“He pushes back against the data on deaths, not because he’s upset by the loss of nearly 3,000 lives but because he’s terrified of responsibility, failure and blame,” said Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer. “Were someone else president, Trump would be the first to tweet an attack on an administration that struggled the way his did after Maria. Now he imagines that others will attack him, so he’s acting first.”

Ever since the storm, Mr. Trump has pushed back against criticism that his administration was slow to respond to Puerto Rico, where the distribution of supplies, gas and food lagged and power outages lasted for months, particularly compared with a swift and efficient response to an earlier hurricane that hit Texas. It was six days after Hurricane Maria hit the island before Mr. Trump pledged to go there, even as he traveled to Texas four days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Full power was restored to homes only in August, nearly a year after the storm.

Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican ally of Mr. Trump’s who was praised for his own leadership during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, said that Puerto Rico was an “extraordinary challenge” in part because the island’s infrastructure was in poor shape to

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