Fox News chief anchor Shepard Smith ripped into President Trump for repeatedly sharing erroneous information during a national emergency this week.
“Some things in Trumplandia are inexplicable,” Smith said. “Maybe he got some bad info from somebody, maybe he made a mistake, maybe he was confused, we don’t know. But he was wrong. And since, for days and days, he’s been insisting — with fake visuals in hand — that he was right.”
Trump tweeted on Sunday that “in addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by Hurricane Dorian.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham responded 20 minutes later with a statement fact-checking Trump’s tweet: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”
Trump later attacked ABC News for reporting that he made an error in warning Alabama and continued to defend his statements.
“That could’ve been it — the end of it. Everybody makes mistakes,” Smith said. “Instead, the next day, the president blamed the media for his own inaccurate warning and then started to rewrite history on the matter.”
On Wednesday, Trump displayed a modified National Hurricane Center (NHC) “Cone of Uncertainty” forecast, dated from 11 a.m. on Aug. 29, that appears to have been altered with a Sharpie to indicate a risk the storm would move into Alabama from Florida.
Trump then doubled down on his remarks Thursday, insisting on Twitter that “certain models strongly suggested” Alabama and Georgia would be hit by the hurricane and that “what I said was accurate!”
“Why would the president of the United States do this?” Smith said. “He decries fake news that isn’t and disseminates fake news that is. Think China pays the tariffs. The wall is going up. Historic inauguration crowds. Russia probe was a witch hunt. You need an ID to buy cereal. Noise from windmills causes cancer. It’s endless.”
On Thursday, Trump tweeted another map, which was issued days before his Sunday warning to Alabama residents.
Instead of tweeting, it would have been a good time for Trump to “apologize and move on,” said Smith. “That map was from the day the hurricane became a hurricane …. It was four days old at the precise time he said Alabama would likely be hit harder than anticipated. By then, it was fake news defined on a very serious subject.”