President Donald Trump was the one who used a black Sharpie marker to alter an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map to include Alabama in Hurricane Dorian’s trajectory during an Oval Office presentation earlier this week, The Washington Post reported.
“No one else writes like that on a map with a black Sharpie,” a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Post.
Since Sunday, Trump has aggressively defended his false claim that Hurricane Dorian was likely to hit Alabama, even after the National Weather Service stressed that “no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”
During an Oval Office briefing on Wednesday, Trump claimed that the marked-up NOAA map was the original forecast, although a similar image released from the White House last week did not include perimeters to show that Alabama would be affected.
Earlier this week, a source familiar with the briefing did not deny to CNN that Trump had drawn the black line on the map.
“I’m not going to get into that,” the source said on Wednesday, but confirmed the line had been added during the storm briefing Wednesday, before the press entered the Oval Office.
Later Wednesday, Trump was asked by a reporter whether the black line over Alabama was made with a permanent marker.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” Trump replied.
Bloomberg was the first to report that Trump marked up the map with Sharpie.
Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, leaving at at least 30 people dead and a wake of wreckage. The number of reported fatalities is expected to increase as the extent of the damage becomes clear. The hurricane has also hit parts of the Carolinas and Virginia with rain, storm surges and strong winds as it brushed up against the eastern coast.