President Donald Trump on Monday insisted he was right to warn Alabama of a nonexistent hurricane threat and attacked a TV reporter who pointed out the fact that the state was not at risk from Dorian.
“Such a phony hurricane report,” he declared on Twitter as he railed at Jon Karl of ABC News for reporting on his erroneous warning.
Trump had claimed in a tweet on Sunday that Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
He made a similar claim about Alabama in televised comments.
The false alarm caused the National Weather Service to issue a correction, albeit without mentioning the president. About 20 minutes after Trump’s warning, the agency tweeted:
The president said on Monday that he was right because Alabama was facing a hurricane threat “under certain original scenarios.”
However, Trump on Sunday did not refer to “certain original scenarios” but instead said after a Federal Emergency Management Agency briefing that “this just came up, unfortunately” as he spoke about a supposed threat to Alabama.
In reality, the projections at that point did not show any path that would bring the storm to Alabama. Dorian was instead tracking further east.
The storm is currently off the coast of Florida and expected to move along the coast, with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia all facing potential threat in the coming days.
Twitter users called out the president for trying to save face instead of focusing on ensuring correct emergency information gets to the people who need it: