Trump refused to back down from his claim that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama, even after the National Weather Service said it was false
US President Donald Trump has refused to back down from his claim that Hurricane Dorian was forecast to hit Alabama, even as the National Weather Service on Sunday rejected the president’s assertion.
In a tweet Monday, Trump focused his attack on the ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who had reported on the network’s “World News Tonight” show that Trump on Sunday had “misstated the storm’s possible trajectory.”
“I suggested yesterday at FEMA that, along with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, even Alabama could possibly come into play, which WAS true,” the president tweeted Monday.
“They made a big deal about this 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!”
The NWS office in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday had unambiguously rejected the president’s assertion that Alabama was in the storm’s path.
On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted: “In addition to Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
The NWS tweeted a response just 20 minutes later: “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.”
The veteran meteorologist James Spann also rejected the president’s claim, tweeting Sunday: “Alabama will not be impacted by Dorian in any way.”
The White House has not responded to a request from Business Insider on the source of the president’s claim.
Despite the NWS’ correction, Trump continued to claim on Sunday that Alabama could be hit, once in remarks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House and later in remarks at a meeting with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In its latest update on the storm, the National Hurricane Center said early Tuesday that Dorian was stationary just north of the Bahamasbut that a sharp turn northward could cause it to directly hit the coast of Florida.
Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas have all declared states of emergency in response to the storm, with mandatory evacuations affecting more than 1 million people in coastal areas.