Four days after incorrectly stating Alabama was in Hurricane Dorian’s path, President Trump continues to insist the forecast he relayed was accurate, despite evidence to the contrary.
“In the early days of the hurricane, when it was predicted that Dorian would go through Miami or West Palm Beach, even before it reached the Bahamas, certain models strongly suggested that Alabama & Georgia would be hit as it made its way through Florida & to the Gulf,” Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. “Instead it turned North and went up the coast, where it continues now. In the one model through Florida, the Great State of Alabama would have been hit or grazed. In the path it took, no. Read my FULL FEMA statement. What I said was accurate! All Fake News in order to demean!”
“Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path (up along the East Coast),” the president added. “The Fake News knows this very well. That’s why they’re the Fake News!”
Trump’s focus on the initial forecast comes as the now-Category 3 storm — which is being blamed for at least 20 deaths in the Bahamas — is moving up the Carolina coast, where it could make landfall later Thursday.
During a hurricane briefing at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Trump mentioned Alabama as one of the states that could be affected by Dorian.
“I will say, the states — and it may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama,” Trump said. “And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be. This just came up, unfortunately. It’s the size of — the storm that we’re talking about. So, for Alabama, just please be careful.”
The National Weather Service quickly refuted that claim.
At the same briefing, Trump said that he had never heard of a Category 5 hurricane before, despite Dorian being the fourth storm of that strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale during his presidency.
During another storm briefing in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump showed reporters an enlarged map displaying what he said was the initial forecast path of the storm. The map, which was displayed on a posterboard, appeared to have been altered with a marker, extending the storm’s path to include Alabama.
(In official photos of an Aug. 29 Oval Office FEMA briefing released by the White House, Trump views what appears to be an unaltered version of the map showing the storm affecting Florida and Georgia, but stopping short of Alabama.)
Later, when asked if he knew the map had been altered to include Alabama, Trump said he did not.
“No,” the president replied. “I just know, I know Alabama was in the original forecast. They thought they would get it as a piece of it. It was supposed to go — actually, we have a better map than that, which is going to be presented, where we had many lines going directly, many models, each line being a model, going directly through. And in all cases, Alabama was it.”
On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted another map, from Aug. 28, showing the projected paths of the storm, with several touching Alabama, though most turning north before reaching the state.
This was the originally projected path of the Hurricane in its early stages. As you can see, almost all models predicted it to go through Florida also hitting Georgia and Alabama. I accept the Fake News apologies! pic.twitter.com/0uCT0Qvyo6— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2019
But the map — which was created by the South Florida Water Management District — itself states that forecasts from the National Hurricane Center should be considered more accurate and that “if anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product.”
Left: The projected path of Hurricane Dorian from the National Weather Service, Sunday, 11 a.m. ET.— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) September 5, 2019
Right: Remarks by President Trump during a briefing on Hurricane Dorian, Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET.https://t.co/ouj2lwPXwK pic.twitter.com/j8BmRZ2sSq
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