President Donald Trump suggested Friday that the media should apologize to him for reporting on his erroneous contention five days ago that Alabama was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Dorian long after it was in the clear.
As the storm slammed into North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday morning, Trump returned to Twitter once again to insist that he was correct on Sunday when he tweeted that Alabama was among the states that would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” – a claim the National Weather Service in Birmingham refuted 20 minutes after he made it.
In a series of tweets Friday, Trump revised his claim, saying he had asserted that Alabama “may also be grazed or hit.” And he complained that the media has not apologized to him while he has insisted for days that he was correct.
“This nonsense has never happened to another President. Four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology,” Trump wrote. “But there are many things that the Fake News Media has not apologized to me for, like the Witch Hunt, or SpyGate! The LameStream Media and their Democrat partner should start playing it straight. It would be so much better for our Country!”
Since his initial claim about Alabama, Trump has posted more than a dozen tweets on the subject, including multiple maps. He defended a doctored and outdated hurricane map, displayed in the Oval Office, that had been altered with a black Sharpie to include Alabama in the storm’s track forecast cone.
And he had the White House release a 225-word statement defending his erroneous warnings that the state was “going to get a piece” of the storm.
Shortly after his tweets Friday targeting the media – his first of the day related to Dorian – Trump tweeted again, this time praising the response on the ground.
“Great job by FEMA, Law Enforcement, First Responders, U.S. Coast Guard, and ALL!” he wrote. “Keep going, we all appreciate what you are doing!”
On Friday, eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and the southern Delmarva Peninsula will take a blast from Dorian’s heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge through the morning and afternoon.
Several locations along the North Carolina Outer Banks reported wind gusts up to 95 mph as the eyewall, the hurricane’s zone of the most severe weather surrounding its center, passed over Friday morning. The storm officially made landfall over Cape Hatteras at 8:35 a.m.
On Friday, Trump’s campaign was also hawking an “official Trump marker” available for purchase online amid the controversy over the doctored map.
It was not clear whether the marker, depicted on the campaign’s website, was a Sharpie, a brand preferred by the president. But a tweet by Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, appeared to allude to the controversy.
“Buy the official Trump marker, which is different than every other marker on the market, because this one has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!” he wrote, adding the hashtag: “#KeepMarkersGreat.”
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The Washington Post’s Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman contributed to this report.