On Tuesday night, Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama, lashing out at a “lightweight” reporter who cited a “phony hurricane report,” Yahoo News reports.
As reported at the time by The Birmingham News, last weekend Trump warned that Hurricane Dorian could strike Alabama.
“It may get a little piece of a great place: it’s called Alabama,” said President Trump. “And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that,” he said.
However, none of the models predicting Dorian’s path have the storm going anywhere near Alabama. And indeed, the National Weather Service (NWS) was forced to tweet out that no parts of Dorian were ever expected to hit any part of Alabama, and that the storm was too far east for it to be a concern for nervous Alabamians, worried after Trump’s statement.
Trump, however, continued to insist that he was right, repeating the claim again after the NWS tweet, and then again during a Sunday afternoon meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials.
One reporter who contradicted Trump’s claims about Dorian hitting Alabama was ABC News’ Jon Karl, who stated that Trump “misstated the storm’s trajectory.”
In a Monday night tweet, Trump called Karl a “lightweight reporter” who had given a “phony hurricane report.”
IMPORTANT: The headline for this #Dorian advisory is NOT that the wind speed has slightly decreased. The combined wind, surge, and floods hazards are the same or even worse since the hurricane has become larger. Full advisory: https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/vbtsENgUMt— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 3, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, Trump insisted that he was only saying that Alabama could have gotten some of the storm, and then blamed the media for focusing on his mistakes.
“The Fake News is only interested in demeaning and belittling. Didn’t play my whole sentence or statement. Bad people!”
It’s unclear where Trump got the idea that Alabama was within range of Hurricane Dorian, as none of the models put forth by the various governmental and scientific organizations monitoring the storm ever had it anywhere near the Yellowhammer State. By every model, the western reaches of Dorian are expected to lash the East Coast, with the heart of the storm remaining over the Atlantic Ocean. Alabama, though it does border Florida, is 250 miles from the Atlantic at its closest point, well out of Dorian’s expected reach.
Meanwhile, Dorian has already punished The Bahamas, destroying thousands of homes in the archipelago and claiming five lives, according to The Wall Street Journal. The slow-moving storm, now a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to approach Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas in the coming days.