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1 big thing: Trump's next great test

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As Americans face Hurricane Florence's landfall, President Trump inaccurately accused Democrats of fabricating Hurricane Maria's death toll to make him look bad.

  • "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths ..."
  • "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico."

Go deeper: Our reality check on the death toll estimates.

Between the lines: Even Trump-aligned Florida Republicans shied away from his statements.

  • Gov. Rick Scott (running for Senate) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (running for governor) both publicly defended Puerto Rico's casualty estimates. Their state is now home to hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who left after the storms.

What's next:

  • Florence will bring the storm surge equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane and an inland flooding threat of historic proportions.
  • In inland areas, more than 3 feet of rain may fall as the storm lumbers southwest into South Carolina through Saturday.
  • By early next week, heavy rains could spread up the spine of the Appalachians and reach the Mid-Atlantic states.

The bottom line: The Carolinas will need FEMA and the president on their game, undistracted by cable news and past grudges.

Go deeper: Our full storm coverage.

Bonus: Photo du jour

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A spray-painted message for Hurricane Florence on a boarded up condominium in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

2. What you missed
  1. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed $2 billion to give to charities that support homeless people and to build new preschools in low-income areas. Go deeper.
  2. The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed the vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh until next week. (WashPost)
  3. Goldman Sachs plans to name John Waldron as its new president and Stephen Scherr as its new chief financial officer, with current CFO Marty Chavez transitioning to the bank's trading division. Go deeper.
  4. Facebook will expand its fact-checking operation to vet photos and video. Go deeper.
  5. Pope Francis has authorized an investigation into sexual harassment claims made against West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield in 2012. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

"The Inn at Little Washington, which chef Patrick O’Connell opened in 1978 in Washington, Va., is the first capital-area restaurant to earn" its third Michelin star, Bloomberg's Kate Krader reports.

  • "There are two new one-star places ('high quality cooking, worth a stop' according to the guide)."
  • "One is Bresca, which features chef Ryan Ratino’s modern French bistronomy cooking ..."
  • "The other is Siren by RW, the seafood temple from venerable chef Robert Wiedmaier ..."