Donald Trump’s Altered Weather Forecast Debacle Just Got Even Worse
An official White House photograph has emerged online showing President Donald Trump being briefed on the likely progress of Hurricane Dorian with a map that did not show Alabama in its path.
The image, taken during an August 29 briefing and posted on the White House Flickr page, shows Trump receiving what was then the most up-to-date information on where Dorian was expected to head.
Trump later produced an altered version of the same map showing the storm’s potential path had been extended with a black pen to support his false claim that Alabama was once thought to be in the storm’s path.
He said Alabama was among the states “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” — despite the forecasts by then having moved even further from Alabama.
His suggestion sparked ridicule, and a swift correction from the National Weather Service. But Trump continued to insist that he had been right to make the claim.
“I know that Alabama was in the original forecast — they thought it would get a piece of it,” Trump told reporters.
“We have a better map … in all cases Alabama was hit, if not lightly in some cases pretty hard. They gave it a 95% chance.”
When asked later about why the map had been changed, Trump replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
However, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley later confirmed the map had been altered using a Sharpie marker pen.
The president may have even broken the law if the map was found to have been deliberately altered, as knowingly publishing counterfeit weather forecasts violates federal law.