President Trump prolonged a weeklong controversy over the projected path of Hurricane Dorian, sharing a cat video late Saturday night that mocked coverage of his incorrect claims about the storm’s path.
The meme, which was originally shared by a pro-Trump Twitter account with the caption, “Live look at CNN,” showed the president holding a forecast map while a cat plays with a laser pointer to the instrumental tune of “Yakety Sax.”
As of Sunday, the storm has been blamed for at least 50 deaths, predominantly in the Bahamas, which bore the brunt of the destruction. Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless.
The tweet was just in the latest in Trump’s relentless, weeklong Twitter broadsides against the media for its coverage of his false claims last Sunday that Alabama was in the storm’s path.
That day, Trump claimed on Twitter that Alabama would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” despite official reports that stated otherwise. Trump then told reporters that it looked like Alabama would “get a piece” of the storm.
At the time, National Weather Service’s (NWS) projections had Alabama in the clear as Dorian curved northward off the East Coast.
But even after the NWS station in Birmingham quickly refuted Trump’s claim, the president refused to concede he was wrong about the forecast. (The NOAA, parent organization of the NWS, faced blowback from meteorologists when it later disavowed the Birmingham correction.)
The controversy reached new heights last Wednesday, when Trump displayed to reporters a map that appeared to have been altered with a black marker to include Alabama in the hurricane’s path.
According to the Washington Post, a top NOAA official warned its staff against contradicting Trump.
“In an agencywide directive sent Sept. 1 to National Weather Service personnel,” it reported, “staff was told to ‘only stick with official National Hurricane Center forecasts if questions arise from some national level social media posts which hit the news this afternoon’” and advised to not “provide any opinion” on the issue.
Trump’s cat-meme tweet followed his announcement that he had called off a secret Camp David meeting for "peace negotiations" with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders.
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