During an Oval Office briefing held Wednesday afternoon, President Trump showed reporters a map of Hurricane Dorian’s projected path along the East Coast. Upon closer inspection, the map provided by the National Hurricane Center appeared altered, as if someone drew a bubble with a black marker. Presumably, either Trump or an aide doctored the map to justify the president’s repeated misconception that Dorian is poised to hit Alabama, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. According to the National Hurricane Center’s animated forecast map, Dorian won’t touch Alabama.
The black extension past Florida did not exist; that’s not how forecast cones are drawn. pic.twitter.com/GqHikOBYU6
— Ryan Breton (@RyanBretonWX) September 4, 2019
When asked by a reporter about the altered map, Trump said, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
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
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) September 4, 2019
That’s not a denial.
Trump seems to show a map of Hurricane Dorian with a bubble scribbled in to include Alabama in the storm’s path pic.twitter.com/eybqGKrYPM
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 4, 2019
The weird saga began on Sunday, when the president tweeted a warning to residents of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama about the then-category 5 hurricane headed their way. The problem was that Alabama wasn’t actually on Dorian’s projected path. Even if he was trying to be helpful, the president most likely scared residents of that state for no reason. About 20 minutes later, the Birmingham, Alabama, branch of the National Weather Service tweeted that Dorian would not be hitting Alabama, but by that point, the president was already repeating his erroneous warning to a gaggle of reporters outside the White House. The president repeated that claim at a FEMA briefing about an hour after the South Lawn gaggle.
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
Instead of just admitting an honest mistake and moving on, the president insisted on dying upon the Alabama hill on Monday by flaming ABC News reporter Jon Karl for just doing his job and fact-checking Trump’s tweet. Here is Trump’s absolutely deranged reaction for having a mistake pointed out to him:
….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
It’s pretty clear that the president’s brain isn’t firing on all synapses, and hasn’t been for awhile, but no one seems to want to do anything about it.