TRUMP: “In addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” — tweet Sunday.
TRUMP: “The original course was dead into Florida. Now it seems to be going up toward South Carolina, toward North Carolina. Georgia’s going to be hit. Alabama’s going to get a piece of it, it looks like.” — remarks to reporters Sunday.
THE FACTS: Trump goes astray in warning of trouble for Alabama, which is expected to be spared. As of Sunday, the National Hurricane Center forecast Dorian to be 40 to 50 miles (64 to 80 kilometers) off the Florida coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, with hurricane-force wind speeds extending about 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the west.
“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian,” tweeted the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama. “We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”
Few, if any, meteorologists put Alabama in its path.
Asked if Trump had been briefed about the impact to Alabama, Christopher Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in an email: “The current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama.”
TRUMP: “I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a category 5. I knew it existed and I’ve seen some category 4′s. You don’t even see them that much. But a category 5 is something that I don’t know that I’ve ever even heard the term other than I know it’s there.” — remarks Sunday at FEMA headquarters.
THE FACTS: In his third hurricane season as president, Trump has had plenty of exposure to category 5 storms.
He made the same claim two years ago, saying he wasn’t aware of category 5 storms until Hurricane Irma. “In Florida, you got hit with the strongest winds ever recorded. It actually hit the Keys with a_it was a Category 5. I never even knew a Category 5 existed,” Trump said in September 2017.
Since then, he’s repeatedly marveled about the size of the storms — and by extension, his administration’s response to it — including category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, Michael in 2018 and now Dorian.
Having four category 5 hurricanes in three years is actually more than any other president in history. George W. Bush had eight such hurricanes in eight years. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan only had one during their two terms in office, while George H.W. Bush had two in four years and Carter had three in four years.