- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
President Donald Trump was the one who edited an official map of Hurricane Dorian's projected path using a black Sharpie, according to The Washington Post, which cited a White House official.
"No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie," the official told The Post.
An additional cone, marked by what appeared to be a black marker, falsely extended the projected path of the hurricane to reach southeastern Alabama on a map Trump showed reporters.
Trump has vociferously defended his false assertion that the hurricane was expected to hit Alabama and has maintained that his statements were based on governmental analyses that were accurate at the time.
President Donald Trump, a fan of Sharpies, used one to edit an official map of Hurricane Dorian's projected path sometime before displaying it to the public on Wednesday at the White House, according to The Washington Post, which cited a White House official.
"No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie," the anonymous official told The Post.
The inclusion of an additional cone, marked by what appeared to be a black marker, falsely extended the projected path of the hurricane to reach southeastern Alabama. Trump on Sunday had said Alabama was among the US states expected to be hit by the hurricane, a position the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, immediately shot down by clarifying that the state "will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian."
In the days since, however, Trump vociferously defended his false assertion and maintained that his statements were based on governmental analyses that were accurate at the time. Trump kicked off a Twitter storm by submitting an indeterminate "spaghetti plot" map as evidence, and he accused news outlets of misreporting his claims.
"I accept the Fake News apologies," Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Numerous White House officials told The Post that the media coverage on the kerfuffle was unfair. One official reportedly said "as long as it's in the news, he is not going to drop it."
People on the internet seized on the incident and submitted their own memes of images doctored with a black marker. But editing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map is something that could bear serious consequences, as some legal experts pointed out it could have violated federal guidelines.
According to 18 US Code § 2074, which is filed under "False Weather Reports," "whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both."
On Thursday, US Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Brown, a homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, appeared to take some of the blame for the confusion from the map.
In a statement presented by the White House, Brown said Trump's comments regarding Hurricane Dorian's chances of hitting Alabama were based on a briefing.
"The president's comments were based on that morning's Hurricane Dorian briefing, which included the possibility of tropical-storm-force winds in southeastern Alabama," Brown said.
A White House source familiar with the matter said Trump personally directed Brown to give the statement, according to CNN.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.