President Donald Trump on Wednesday displayed a map of Hurricane Dorian’s forecast path that appeared to feature a bubble scribbled on to include Alabama, a state which Trump had earlier insisted, against direct proof, would be hit.
For reference, here’s a zoomed-in picture of Trump’s map:
“It was going to be hitting directly, and it would have affected a lot of other states,” Trump said in the Oval Office Wednesday, alongside Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan. “But that was the original chart. You see, it was going to hit not only Florida, but Georgia. It was going toward the Gulf. That was what was originally projected.”
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
And here’s Dorian’s official forecast path from the National Hurricane Center website. The NHC’s animation of the official forecast path never crosses Alabama’s border and there is no black bubble.
Since Sunday morning, Trump repeatedly and emphatically insisted that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama, even as meteorologists from the local and federal level — aka his own weather service — refuted the claim.
After railing against the “phony” reporting denying the accuracy of his statement, Trump ultimately blamed his statements on “certain original scenarios” that never came to be.
The latest National Hurricane Center advisory for Dorian shows the storm forecast to veer to the Northeast:
Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist with the Atmospheric Science department at Colorado State University, suggested that the White House, not the National Hurricane Center, was behind the edit.
“President Trump’s forecast map that he showed was from a few days ago, and someone from the White House must have drawn a bubble on it to include Alabama,” he told TPM. “Alabama was never in the forecast cone issued by the National Hurricane Center.”
The President largely dodged questions about the doctored map Wednesday afternoon.
“I know Alabama was in the original forecast,” Trump told reporters when asked about the bubble, noting that he didn’t know anything about the scribbled addition. “The original path was through Florida.”