In the latest development in President Donald Trump’s ordeal over Hurricane Dorian’s projected path, The Independent reports that the president ordered a Coast Guard rear admiral to shoulder the blame for his false claims made earlier this week.
Trump has falsely claimed numerous times that he was correct in his assertion that Alabama was likely to see an impact from the storm, despite National Weather Service evidence to the contrary.
On Wednesday, the president went so far as to show a doctored projection map during an Oval Office briefing in front of reporters, which was altered with what appeared to be a Sharpie to show the hurricane’s path affecting Alabama.
Trump drew immediate criticism for the fake map, with many people noting that it is a violation of federal law to disseminate false weather reports: “Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather 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.”
But on Thursday, the saga took another turn when the White House issued a statement from Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, Rear Admiral Peter Brown, indicating it was he who briefed Trump on the potential that Dorian would strike Alabama.
“I showed the President the official National Hurricane Center forecast, which included the 'cone' that projects the potential path of the eye of the storm," Brown said, apparently referencing the official map that was later altered.
“While speaking to the press on Sunday, September 1, the President addressed Hurricane Dorian and its potential impact on multiple states, including Alabama,” Brown continued. “The President's comments were based on that morning's Hurricane Dorian briefing, which included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”
A CNN report indicated that it was the president who directed Brown to release the statement.
The Independent noted that while some early models of the hurricane’s path showed a possible effect on Alabama, by the time Trump made his comments, “there is no evidence the NHC or other forecasters were by 1 September predicting Alabama would be struck by Dorian.”
Trump has been unable to let the mistake go, insisting all week that he was correct in his original statement.
On Friday morning, the president tweeted about the matter again, writing:
"The Fake News Media was fixated on the fact that I properly said, at the beginnings of Hurricane Dorian, that in addition to Florida & other states, Alabama may also be grazed or hit.
"They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t). Check out maps. This nonsense has never happened to another President. Four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology. But there are many things that the Fake News Media has not apologized to me for, like the Witch Hunt, or SpyGate!
"The LameStream Media and their Democrat partner should start playing it straight. It would be so much better for our Country!"