Trump's 'hurricane warning' to Alabama was so wrong it may have literally broken the law
In one of the most stupifying moments in an unquestionably chaotic presidency, Donald Trump displayed an apparently doctored map of the projected path of Hurricane Dorain to make it look like it is headed towards Alabama.
Numerous reports, including one by the National Weather Service, have contradicted the president saying that Alabama is not in the hurricane's projected path.
The map Trump displayed was produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week. It shows the hurricane's projected path through Florida in white. But the one displayed in the Oval Office had an additional black circle added which includes Alabama.
The black circle was clearly added by someone last-minute or the NOAA would have included it in the white projection path. The path of a hurricane is a matter of life and death. There's no way the NOAA would willingly put out something so confusing.
The original map.
The one displayed in the Oval Office.
It appears as though someone in the White House, possibly the president himself, added Alabama to the path to save some presidential face.
On September 1, Trump tweeted that Alabama was among the states that was going to be hit hard by Hurricane Dorian. But the National Weather Service contradicted the president by tweeted that Alabama will be safe.
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
Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east. #alwx
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) September 1, 2019
Then Trump' doubled-down on his incorrect statement on Twitter.
....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
Now what should people in Alabama do? Do they board up their windows and panic because of the hurricane or do they rest easy knowing that the president of the United States has a serious problem admitting he's wrong? A problem so serious that he's willing to cause panic among tens of thousands of people who believe they are going to be hit by a hurricane.
Disseminating a false weather report is so serious that it's against federal law.
"Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions 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," 18 U.S. Code 2074 reads.