So instead of admitting he made a mistake by tweeting Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama, Trump decided to “Sharpie” a new path that includes the state.
By the time you get to the end of this story, you will be asking yourself if you are living in an SNL sketch.
The whole thing started on Saturday morning when Trump tweeted a warning for people to stay safe, claiming that Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama were on in Dorian’s path:
In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2019
Nothing wrong with the sentiment, except for one thing: Alabama was not in the projected path of the hurricane.
The mistake led to the National Weather Service in Birmingham reassuring Alabama residents that Dorian wasn’t something they needed to be worrying about.
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
An Alabama meteorologist also sent out a similar tweet which caused people to question his political motive in refuting a statement made by the president:
I have zero interest in politics. Dorian will not affect Alabama in any way. That is not a political statement.
— James Spann (@spann) September 1, 2019
In Trump’s defense, anyone can make a mistake, but instead of simply saying he was misinformed about Alabama being in the path of the hurricane, the President decided to stick with his story. He threw Alabama’s name into the mix again later that same day while speaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn:
But the story doesn’t stop there. An hour after speaking with reporters, Trump was singing the same Alabama song in a FEMA briefing. He expressed worry that Dorian “may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama.”
When the news networks began to discuss the spread of erroneous information, Trump lashed out on Twitter with his customary “Fake News” claim:
….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
Here’s where things go from weird to downright insane.
On Wednesday, the official White House Twitter account released a video of Trump in the Oval Office giving an update on the hurricane situation. Trump displays a large map from the National Hurricane Center that shows one projected path of the storm. The printed path does not include any part of Alabama getting hit by the hurricane, but there is an extension to the path added in Sharpie that includes the southeastern corner of Alabama.
The President of the United States altered a National Hurricane Center map with a sharpie to falsely extend the official forecast toward Alabama so he didn't have to admit he was wrong in a tweet. https://t.co/i0CJcYV4yq pic.twitter.com/pR57IL6WfT
— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) September 4, 2019
Some clever people on Twitter are calling the incident #sharpiegate.