Trump complicates Florida GOP's play for Puerto Rican voters

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to supporters at Republican rally in Orlando, Fla. Top Florida Republicans in

FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to supporters at Republican rally in Orlando, Fla. Top Florida Republicans in

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, homes and other buildings destroyed by Hurricane Maria lie in ruins in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Top Florida R

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, homes and other buildings destroyed by Hurricane Maria lie in ruins in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Top Florida R

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo, Republican candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis smiles during an airboat tour of the Florida Evergla

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo, Republican candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis smiles during an airboat tour of the Florida Evergla

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In just a few moments and two tweets, President Donald Trump has roiled Florida's crucial elections. He upended his party's ongoing efforts to make inroads to the battleground state's growing Puerto Rican population.

Trump's tweets Thursday claiming that "3,000 people did not die" in the hurricanes that hit the island last year and falsely alleging that the official death toll was part of a plot by Democrats to make him look bad were immediately condemned by Puerto Rican leaders.

Others joining in the condemnation were Democratic opponents and, in a rare breach, fellow Republicans in the state.

Both GOP gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis and GOP Senate nominee, Gov. Rick Scott, quickly distanced themselves from Trump's position.