Trump was reportedly the person who used a black Sharpie to change the confusing Hurricane Dorian map

  • President Donald Trump was confirmed to have edited an official map of Hurricane Dorian's projected path using a black Sharpie marker, 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 Southeast Alabama.
  • In the days since, Trump vociferously defended his assertion and claimed his statements were based on governmental analyses that were accurate at the time.

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."

9 PHOTOS
Photos show purple sunset above Florida in wake of Hurricane Dorian
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Photos show purple sunset above Florida in wake of Hurricane Dorian
Purple skies after #Dorian passed by Jacksonville today. Do you think there’s a chance Dorian was a fan of Prince? https://t.co/mpeM3bsVXo
Our little piece of Florida survived Hurricane Dorian and we were rewarded with this GORGEOUS purple sky tonight!! 😍 * * * #nofilter #agnewsinstaugustine #purplesky #hurricanedorian #wesurvived #momlife #girlmom #boymom #adventuresinadulting
Purple sunset in Mandarin after hurricane #dorian #FCNStorm @FCN2go https://t.co/WkuzTCs5QY
The sky was literally purple tonight, very cool post-hurricane effect. #Dorian https://t.co/rvEXDxTTyt https://t.co/W1diR0XZTp
Purple sunset - goodbye Dorian! @FCN2go #Dorian2019 https://t.co/FMDdYXKyYI
Purple skies after #Dorian passed by Jacksonville today. Do you think there’s a chance Dorian was a fan of Prince? https://t.co/mpeM3bsVXo
I still can’t believe that the sky turned purple #sunset https://t.co/GHuOmgqk9W
Hurricane sonrası💜 https://t.co/RPixfqmRbW
@wjxt4 https://t.co/0ndwE9NODg
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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."

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."

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Hurricane Dorian
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Hurricane Dorian
This Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019 image provided by NASA shows a view of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station as it churned over the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico. Leaving mercifully little damage in its wake in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Dorian swirled toward the U.S., with forecasters warning it will draw energy from the warm, open waters as it closes in. (NASA via AP)
Store shelves are empty of bottled water as residents buy supplies in preparation for Hurricane Dorian, in Doral, Fla., Thursday, July 29, 2019. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian could hit the Florida coast over the weekend as a major hurricane. (AP Photo/Marcus Lim)
Shoppers prepare ahead of Hurricane Dorian at The Home Depot on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Empty shelves are seen with a sign at Costco stating that the retailer is currently sold out of water ahead of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, left, looks on as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about Tropical Storm Dorian outside of the the National Hurricane Center, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
This GOES-16 satellite image taken Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at 14:20 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian, right, moving over open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to grow into a potentially devastating Category 3 hurricane before hitting the U.S. mainland late Sunday or early Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia. (NOAA via AP)
Shoppers wait in long lines at Costco, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Davie, Fla., as they stock up on supplies ahead of Hurricane Dorian. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - AUGUST 30: People walk to their boat through a flooded parking lot at the Haulover Marine Center before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on August 30, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida. The high water was due to King tide which may cause additional problems as Hurricane Dorian arrives in the area as a possible Category 4 storm along the Florida coast. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - AUGUST 30: Weston Rice drives through a flooded parking lot as he prepares to drop his jet ski into the water at the Haulover Marine Center before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on August 30, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida. The high water was due to King tide which may cause additional problems as Hurricane Dorian arrives in the area as a possible Category 4 storm along the Florida coast. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A man stands on a store's roof as he works to prepare it for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. Hurricane Dorian intensified yet again Sunday as it closed in on the northern Bahamas, threatening to batter islands with Category 5-strength winds, pounding waves and torrential rain. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
This GOES-16 satellite image taken Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, at 17:00 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian, right, churning over the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, its 185 mph winds ripping off roofs and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered in schools, churches and other shelters. (NOAA via AP)
President Donald Trump, left, listens as Kenneth Graham, director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, on screen, gives an update during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington, at right of Trump is Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing about Hurricane Dorian at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington, as Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
People walk on a largely deserted beach of the Atlantic Ocean on the barrier island in Vero Beach, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. The barrier island is under a voluntary evacuation today and a mandatory evacuation tomorrow in preparation for the possibility of Hurricane Dorian making landfall. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
RIVIERA BEACH, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 1: Workers place shutters over the windows of a Food Mart store as the owner prepares just in case Hurricane Dorian hits the area on September 1, 2019 in Riviera Beach, Florida. Dorian was projected to make landfall along the Florida coast but now projections have it making a sharp turn to the north as it closes in on Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Tree branches are seen in the road during the approach of Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019 in Nassau, Bahamas. - Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, packing 160 mph (267 kph) winds as it was about to slam into the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, US weather forecasters said."#Dorian is now a category 5 #hurricane with 160 mph sustained winds," the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a tweet. "The eyewall of this catastrophic hurricane is about to hit the Abaco Islands with devastating winds," it said.The slow moving storm was expected to linger over the Bahamas through Sunday and much of Monday, dumping up to 25 inches of rain in some areas and unleashing storm surges of 10 to 15-feet, forecasters said. (Photo by Lucy WORBOYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUCY WORBOYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Tree branches are seen in the road during the approach of Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019 in Nassau, Bahamas. - Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, packing 160 mph (267 kph) winds as it was about to slam into the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, US weather forecasters said."#Dorian is now a category 5 #hurricane with 160 mph sustained winds," the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a tweet. "The eyewall of this catastrophic hurricane is about to hit the Abaco Islands with devastating winds," it said.The slow moving storm was expected to linger over the Bahamas through Sunday and much of Monday, dumping up to 25 inches of rain in some areas and unleashing storm surges of 10 to 15-feet, forecasters said. (Photo by Lucy WORBOYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUCY WORBOYS/AFP/Getty Images)
The entrance to Wambasso Beach County Park is closed in Wambasso Beach, Florida on September 1, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian. - Hurricane Dorian unleashed "catastrophic conditions" as it hit the northern Bahamas, lashing the low-lying island chain with devastating 180 mph (285 kph) winds, the most intense in its modern history. Florida residents, meanwhile, were bracing for a potentially dangerous brush with the storm as it slowly turns north after passing the Bahamas. (Photo by Adam DelGiudice / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADAM DELGIUDICE/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump receives a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) on Hurricane Dorian in Washington, DC, on September 1, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump receives a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) on Hurricane Dorian in Washington, DC, on September 1, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC OCEAN - SEPTEMBER 1: In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 5 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:20Z September 1, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the northwestern Bahamas as it gets hit with 175 mph winds. According to the National Hurricane Center Dorian is predicted to hit the U.S. as a Category 4 storm. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
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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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