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Trump reportedly used a black Sharpie to edit Hurricane Dorian map



President Donald Trump, a fan of Sharpie markers, 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 a White House official cited in a Washington Post report.

“No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie,” a White House official said to The Post.

The inclusion of an additional cone, marked by what appears to be a black marker, falsely extended the projected path of the hurricane to reach south-eastern Alabama. Trump previously claimed that Alabama was one of the states to be hit by the hurricane, a position the National Weather Center in Birmingham, Alabama, immediately shot down by clarifying that the state “will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”

In the days since, Trump vociferously defended his assertion and claimed 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 blamed news outlets for allegedly 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.”

President Donald Trump holds up a pen after signing a proclamation for a national day of prayer, in the Oval Office of the White House, September 1, 2017, in Washington.
Evan Vucci/AP

Read more: Trump reportedly told a Coast Guard admiral to give a statement defending his Hurricane Dorian confusion

People on the internet seized on the incident and submitted their own memes of doctored images with a black marker. But Trump’s alleged edit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map could bear serious consequences after some legal experts pointed out it may 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 Admiral Peter Brown, a Homeland Security and counterterrorism advisor, appeared to take some of the blame for the confusion for the confusion from the map.

In a statement presented by the White House, Brown said Trump’s comments regarding Hurricane Dorian’s chance to hit 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 that 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.

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