Trump reportedly told a Coast Guard admiral to give a statement defending his Hurricane Dorian confusion


Hurricane Dorian's trajectory appears to have been altered with black marker.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

A Homeland Security and counterterrorism advisor appeared to take some of the blame for the confusion wrought by President Donald Trump's presentation of a chart of Hurricane Dorian's path.

In a statement presented by the White House, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Peter Brown said Trump's comments regarding Hurricane Dorian's chance to hit Alabama were based on a briefing.

"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," Brown said. "The President and I also reviewed other products, including multiple meteorological 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 plots well outside the official forecast cone."

"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 confusion began on Sunday, when Trump claimed that "in addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

The National Weather Center in Birmingham, Alabama, immediately responded by clarifying that the state "will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east."

Trump did not back down from his assertion, saying Alabama had a chance to be hit by Hurricane Dorian, based on maps and models he said he saw. But the " spaghetti plot" he provided as evidence on Twitter did not include critical factors that determine a more accurate prediction of the trajectory of the storm's path. It did not include information about wind speeds, and showed the possible routes based on atmospheric conditions and the path of previous storms.

The plot map Trump revealed also noted on the bottom that "if anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore this entire product."

Brown's statement did not include who had drawn an additional cone to include Alabama on a map Trump presented on Wednesday.

The White House appeared to stand firm over the controversy, which fueled viral memes of pictures edited with a black marker.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham fired back at CNN, which extensively covered what is being dubbed as "Sharpiegate," and mocked the network for labeling Alabama as Mississippi on a graphic.

"Hi @CNN, I know you guys are busy analyzing lines on a map, but perhaps you use your time to study up on US geography," Grisham said on Twitter.

CNN's communications team responded by saying it "made a mistake" and fixed it "in less than 30 seconds."

"And now we are admitting it," the company said on Twitter. "You all should try it sometime."

More from Business Insider:

(Associated Press/Tom Williams)

Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon will implement an "operational pause" on the training of foreign students inside the United States as the military undergoes a review of screening procedures, according to senior defense officials.

Read More Show Less
In this Nov 24, 2009, file photo, a University of Phoenix billboard is shown in Chandler, Ariz. The University of Phoenix for-profit college and its parent company will pay $50 million and cancel $141 million in student debt to settle allegations of deceptive advertisement brought by the Federal Trade Commission. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.

Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.

Read More Show Less
Shane Reynolds, UCF Research Associate demonstrates an AR/VR system to train soldiers and Marines on how to improve their ability to detect improvised explosive devices. (Orlando Sentinel/Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda)

As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.

Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.

Read More Show Less
US Navy

The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.

Read More Show Less