On Thursday evening, Donald Trump continued to worry about what everyone thought of him and tried to justify his statements that Alabamians were in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The president was sooooo worried about the this that Rear Adm. Peter J. Brown, the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, released a 200-word statement saying the president was actually right.
The upshot? It was NOT Trump’s fault, but rather Brown’s fault and also multiple graphs faults. (Ignore the government’s weird use capitalization.)
“As the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, I briefed President Donald J. Trump multiple times concerning the position, forecast, risks, and Federal Government preparations for and response to Hurricane Dorian. I showed the President the official National Hurricane Center forecast, which included the ‘cone’ that projects the potential path of the eye of the storm. The President and I also reviewed other products, including multiple meteorological models (often called the ‘spaghetti models’) and graphics that displayed the time of onset and geographical range of tropical storm force winds, storm surge, and rainfall. These products showed possible storm impacts well outside the official forecast cone.”
Then, Brown’s statement attempts to justify Trump saying Alabama was in the path of Dorian — and I guess that poster that looked like it was altered with Sharpie. Basically, previous models show that Alabama might have been in the path of the storm, so that’s why the president said what he said.
“While speaking to the press on Sunday, September 1, the President addressed Hurricane Dorian and its potential impact on multiple states, including Alabama. 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. In fact, from the evening of Tuesday, August 27, until the morning of September 2, forecasts from the National Hurricane Center showed the possibility of tropical storm force winds hitting parts of Alabama.
Furthermore, storms change all the time, according to Brown’s statement, so it’s not like Alabama was the only place to prepare and not see as strenuous of storm. “Additionally, the forecast track changed substantially over times such that localities originally concerned about significant impacts, such as Puerto Rico, South Florida, and the Gulf Coast, saw minimal to no impact from Hurricane Dorian,” according to Brown’s statement.
A fun (?) or maybe interesting (??) tidbit about Rear Adm. Peter J. Brown. According to CNN, the position used to have “a major part in briefing the President and overseeing the national disaster recovery efforts,” but national security adviser John Bolton had other plans. Previously, Tom Bossert (a lawyer who also worked for the second Bush administration) had the role, but was pushed out by Bolton. CNN said it was one of Bolton’s first moves, followed by downgrading the position twice. Now the position reports to Bolton instead of the directly to the president. What an interesting arena for a power grab.
But it wasn’t just the statement from a homeland security and counterterrorism adviser! Trump has been tweeting about Alabama all day!
In case you were still worried, just remember that Brown wants you to know that the Alabama ~gaffe~ isn’t Trump’s fault!!! And the Trump administration’s response to this natural disaster is DEFINITELY going to be better!!