Over the weekend, Donald Trump once again reminded the world how singularly unsuited he is to lead this country during times of emergency. As the staggeringly destructive Hurricane Dorian bore down on the southeastern United States, Trump incorrectly and irresponsibly spread the idea via Twitter that the massive storm would likely hit Alabama hard.
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In reality, only the most extreme predictions showed the hurricane hitting Alabama at all, let alone in any kind of broadly devastating fashion. Rather than let the president’s incorrect assertion go unchallenged and generate panic in Alabama, the National Weather Service’s Birmingham Office was forced to send out a tweet assuring Alabamans that Dorian would not be impacting their state.
Since Donald Trump is pathologically incapable of engaging in anything that even vaguely resembles an apology, the president refused to own up to his enormous blunder. In fact, it now appears that he has gone to absurd lengths to convince people that he was actually right about Dorian threatening Alabama.
Amanda Terkel, the Washington Bureau Chief for HuffPost, tweeted that the White House has doctored a forecast map to make it look like Alabama was indeed in the crosshairs of Dorian. President Trump himself presented the falsified image to reporters.
The edited projection shows the areas actually threatened by the storm within white bubbles. An ersatz bubble, poorly drawn and rendered in black, can be seen ballooning off from the legitimate forecast zones, presumably added by Trump or a member of his staff.
This is incredible. The White House doctored the map to retroactively justify Trump saying the hurricane will hit Alabama. https://t.co/4yciEnFQCu
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) September 4, 2019
Weather reporter Dennis Mersereau shared images of the doctored image, alleging that the new bubble over Alabama was actually drawn in Sharpie. On top of that, Mersereau pointed out that falsifying a National Weather Service forecast and passing it off as official is a violation of federal law and included a link to the statute in question:
“Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.”
In other words, President Trump was so insecure about admitting that he made a mistake that he either ordered his staff to break the law or did it himself. While it should have become obvious to everyone years ago, this incident proves a simple undeniable fact yet again: this man’s ego is actively dangerous.
It is a violation of federal law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pass it off as official, as President Trump did here.
— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) September 4, 2019
The original image can be seen below.
Not surprisingly, our serially mendacious leader feigned ignorance:
Reporter just asked Trump about the map: "It looked like someone took a Sharpie…."
Trump: "I don't know. I don't know." (But Potus insists several times that Alabama was in the Dorian's path despite evidence to contrary.) https://t.co/2S92ndpnB1
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) September 4, 2019