Meteorologists and most others were stunned today to find that Donald Trump used a weather map that appears to have a fake extension of the predicted path of Hurricane Dorian possibly drawn in with black marker after insisting that the hurricane would hit Alabama.
“Certified Broadcast Meteorologist” Ryan Breton quickly noticed the doctored map in part because “that’s not how forecast cones are drawn.”
Can't let this go unnoticed. @realDonaldTrump displayed a doctored version of the @NHC_Atlantic forecast for #Dorian.— Ryan Breton (@RyanBretonWX) September 4, 2019
The black extension past Florida did not exist; that's not how forecast cones are drawn. pic.twitter.com/GqHikOBYU6
Trump pulled out the clearly altered map during an Oval Office briefing today, though it’s unclear whether he himself drew the extra bubble or if it was a staffer. For some reason, Trump seems to be absolutely unable to let this particular mistake go, repeating the claim even after a reporter pointed out that the map he used was clearly edited. When pressed, he repeatedly said “I don’t know,” which might be one of the most honest things he’s said in a while.
WATCH: Asked about the #sharpie-doctored @NWS map from earlier today, @realDonaldTrump repeats his lie about Alabama having been in Hurricane #Dorian’s path (it wasn’t).— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) September 4, 2019
Asked again about the sharpie marks, all he can say is “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.” pic.twitter.com/4VgbFDjp8X
This would just be yet another bizarre chapter in an utter circus of a presidency if it weren’t for the fact that Trump is scaring millions of people within the state of Alabama and could cause them to flee their homes unnecessarily, disrupting lives and businesses. The National Weather Service of Birmingham has already had to tweet a correction to Trump’s statement to try and quell fears while the President has continued to press a pointless false narrative.
The next day, Trump doubled down on the false claim on Twitter, attacking ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
....when in fact, under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some “hurt.” Always good to be prepared! But the Fake News is only interested in demeaning and belittling. Didn’t play my whole sentence or statement. Bad people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2019
Is this the best use of the President’s time?
Whatever the reason for this obsession, it has at least created fertile ground for some pretty hilarious jokes.
Trump releases photo to show he’s taller than Obama. pic.twitter.com/U4K7C4MzQI— Schooley (@Rschooley) September 4, 2019
Donald Trump just got caught drawing on his map with a Sharpie to make it look like the hurricane hit Alabama. Prior to that, I assume he was sniffing the Sharpie.— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) September 4, 2019
Trump has always used a Sharpie to add extra zeroes to his bank account and net worth — so yeah, he could have used a Sharpie to doctor a Dorian/Alabama map. https://t.co/oiI51ex1hh— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) September 4, 2019
"If I draw on this cone on the map with my sharpie, then everyone will think the weather people said the hurricane was going to hit Alabama and that I was right."— Eric Schmeltzer (@JustSchmeltzer) September 4, 2019
-- A real thought Donald Trump acted on
Guys, Trump didn’t use a sharpie to draw a circle extending the projected impact of Hurricane Dorian around Alabama. Millions of us used the created power of the mind, along with two minutes or prayer, visualization, and meditation to extend those lines on the NOAA map.— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 4, 2019
Lots of TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME sufferers seem to think OUR PRESIDENT drew the extra circle on the Dorian map so his comments about it possibly hitting Alabama would look right but really he was just trying to make the map look like a dick and balls. pic.twitter.com/tPFl4D4LEP— No. 1 Stephen Root fan (@PETEKEELEY) September 4, 2019
Others have pointed out that altering official weather maps to make false reports is actually a crime.
— weekender (@lovelifetodaypl) September 4, 2019
Just add it to his crime tab for when he’s kicked out of office. Or dragged, as the case may be.