After President Donald Trump showed a map of Hurricane Dorian’s projected path on Wednesday that was seemingly altered with a Sharpie pen to include the state of Alabama, the former reality star turned world leader is finding himself at the center of a novel scandal among social media users, touted “Sharpie Gate.”
In White House video released Wednesday, Trump points to a weather chart showing states that could potentially be at the forefront of damage in what the National Hurricane Center calls the “cone of uncertainty,” according to the News & Observer. However, many observed that a curved line had been added to the cone, showing that Dorian would move from Florida to Alabama, despite being factually incorrect.
In a White House video, President Donald Trump points to a map of Hurricane Dorian's projected path that appeared to have been altered with a Sharpie pen to include the state of Alabama, which was never in harm’s way. More here: https://t.co/G9qyona6Rt pic.twitter.com/icUWH10Sqx— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 5, 2019
Shortly after, Trump took to Twitter and wrote: “In addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
The National Weather Service later issued a statement explaining that “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.”
Twitter users began calling out Trump for this apparent fabrication of the official projection, and the reactions have been both hilarious and heavily critical. Scroll down to check some of them out.
Meteorologist Ryan Brenton was among the first of those who noticed Trump's alleged Sharpie-altered image, and he addressed it on Twitter.
"Can't let this go unnoticed. [Donald Trump] displayed a doctored version of the @NHC_Atlantic forecast for #Dorian," he explained. "The black extension past Florida did not exist; that's not how forecast cones are drawn."
After he began to be criticized for his Alabama comment, and his "doctored" Dorian image, Trump defended himself by tweeting, "Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path (up along the East Coast). The Fake News knows this very well. That’s why they’re the Fake News!"
"#sharpiegate #TrumpSharpie is why I LOVE twitter! Thank you fellow resisters for supplying the humor we need to get through these dark and surreal times," one user later joked.
(In my best shrink voice) Do you see the hurricane in this room with us right now?— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) September 5, 2019
"WHY DID YOU DRAW ON THE MAP WITH A SHARPIE," one user asked Trump in a tweet.
"All Sharpies in the WH have been secured and under Lock and Key," someone else joked.
“Now #Sharpiegate does not bother me— Kai (@UnderAntares) September 5, 2019
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth
Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue”
Here it is: Trump’s sharpie map and the actual map. pic.twitter.com/1sYT1XOy02— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) September 5, 2019
"God almighty," one Twitter user quipped. "He's really gonna die on this #FakeNews hill after using a map dated 8/28 to prove his 'Alabama update' FOUR DAYS LATER was correct?"
"Rex Tillerson was right," the Twitter user added, then including a hashtag referring to when Tillerson was quoted as calling Trump a "moron."
Says the guy who never heard of category 5 hurricanes. Every time there’s been one.— Susan (@redwitch497) September 5, 2019
"Remember just a few days ago Trump 'claimed' he had never heard of a cat 5 hurricane before," one other user wrote.
This was in reference to when the President stated, "I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of a Category 5," despite there having been at least four that impacted the U.S. during his presidency.
Because why back down when you made a silly mistake in a tweet? Just double down, falsify a map and put it on telly in an official briefing, then claim you don’t know who drew on it with a marker pen to corroborate the thing you said by accident. #sharpiegate @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/6CT47sfDGx— Peter Crome (@petecrome) September 5, 2019
One person who tweeted directly to Trump wrote, "You tweeted out a warning to the people of Alabama using bad information. Information based on data that was at least 4 days old."
"Then you lied about it. Then you went a step further and lied about the lie," they added.
Really. Can you draw it out on a graph for us?? #sharpiegate— CaBiBi🌊🇺🇸🌊🇮🇹 (@mingia66) September 5, 2019
We wanted to get in on the #sharpiegate action.
Did we do this right?September 5, 2019
"This isn't the worst thing Trump's ever lied about," someone offered, adding, "But it's becoming the most pathetic."
"Exactly! And the more he insists the more pathetic it gets. Luckily it's hilarious at least," another user replied.
Is this how your inauguration really looked? SO many people? pic.twitter.com/Ot7Wk6UYbZ— Michelle Wright (@Mickeygw1) September 5, 2019
"If this was even remotely true you wouldn’t have tried the sharpie ruse in your effort to save face," another Twitter user commented on Trump's post.
"The NWS has already said you made this up," the user continued, then asking, "Why keep on lying about it?"
While many have criticized the president, and others have made hilarious jokes, there are some that have pointed out that "It is a violation of federal law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pass it off as official."
According to Cornell Law School, the law states, "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."
At this time, there is no word on whether or not the proper authorities may consider Trump to be in violation of this law.
Based on weather forecasts from the White House, I'm going to go buy sandbags & plywood after work.September 5, 2019