After sticking by false comments that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, President Trump displayed the National Hurricane Center’s original weather forecast chart for the storm on Wednesday. And an apparent Sharpie edit caught the attention of the internet.
A closer look at the chart Trump displayed, while discussing the impact and response to Dorian, appears that the original forecast cone that mapped the predicted direction of Dorian on Aug. 29 was altered in black ink to touch a corner of — you guessed it — Alabama.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 4, 2019
“It was going towards the Gulf, that was what was originally projected,” Trump told reporters from the Oval Office on Wednesday, displaying a chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “It took a right turn, and ultimately — hopefully we’re going to be lucky, it depends on what happens with South Carolina, North Carolina.”
The public immediately took notice, with some weather experts even tweeting at the President to remind him that it is illegal to falsify weather reports.
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
At a press conference later in the day to address a plan to curb opioid addiction, Trump defended his comments on Alabama, but added “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know,” when asked if the weather chart had been altered with a Sharpie.
“I know that Alabama was in the original forecast, they thought they would get it as a piece of it,” Trump said. “Actually we have a better map than that which is gonna be presented where we had many lines going directly — many models, each line being a model, and they were going directly through, and in all cases Alabama was hit, if not lightly, in some places pretty hard.”
The NOAA has repeatedly stated that Alabama would not be impacted by Dorian.
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
“Sharpie” immediately began trending on Twitter.
Who among us hasn’t altered a National Hurricane Center forecast with a sharpie?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 4, 2019
I was asked to go back on MSNBC today to talk about the utter chaos in the UK, but then after I returned to 30 Rock they bumped me because of breaking news about how POTUS uses a Sharpie
— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) September 4, 2019
Every man should keep his Sharpie in his pants, until INVITED to take it out.
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) September 4, 2019