Trump Denies Altering Official Hurricane Path With A Sharpie
U.S. President Donald Trump is in hot water after he appeared to show an official hurricane map amended with a Sharpie.
The bizarre black marking on the National Weather Service map falsely extended Hurricane Dorian's path from Florida to Alabama.
"We got lucky in Florida — very, very lucky indeed. We had actually, our original chart was that it was going to be hitting Florida directly," Trump said before pulling the 'original' chart out from behind his desk.
“That was the original chart,” Trump insisted, looking at the obvious marker line. “It could’ve, uh, was going towards the Gulf."
It took a matter of minutes for social media to light up with meteorologists calling out the White House for the dodgy forecast.
"The black extension past Florida did not exist; that's not how forecast cones are drawn," meteorologist Ryan Breton tweeted.
"Imagine having an ego so big that instead of just saying 'my tweet including Alabama was incorrect', you take a days-old forecast, take a Sharpie and extend the forecast to Alabama yourself," Bryan Wood, also a meteorologist, tweeted.
It came just days after the President warned that Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama would "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated".
The warning was immediately contradicted by the National Weather Service, located in Alabama, which said the state was absolutely not in the firing line.
In fact, not one forecast suggested Alabama would be hit by the powerful storm.
During a press conference in the wake of the weather update, a journalist asked who edited the chart.
"I know that Alabama was in the original forecast, they thought they would get a piece of it," Trump said.
"They actually gave it a 95 percent chance... but it turns out that didn't happen."
In a follow-up question, the journalist suggested a Sharpie had been used to make the false amendment to which Trump replied: "I don't know, I don't know," before moving on.
In America, altering official government weather forecasts is illegal and those caught issuing or publishing any counterfeit forecast or warning face hefty fines and/or jail time for up to ninety days.
It is not clear who modified the chart.
Hurricane Dorian has caused widespread devastation, smashing into the Bahamas as a category five storm.
At least 20 people were killed by the slow-moving storm, with that number expected to rise as survivors and rescue crews continue to pick through the wreckage of thousands of flattened homes and businesses.
Dorian is now headed for the U.S. as a category two storm, with millions of people ordered to evacuate. Forecasts suggest record levels of seawater and raid could inundate Georgia and the Carolinas.
It has already brought intense wind and rain to Florida, with authorities also receiving an unexpected delivery -- cocaine bricks.
More than 25 kilograms of the drugs has washed ashore with the packages now under investigation.
Contact the author firstname.lastname@example.org