Rear Adm. Peter Brown, a Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, said in a statement on official letterhead that he briefed Trump multiple times about Dorian while reviewing models that showed the potential path of the eye of the storm.
"These products showed possible storm impacts well outside the official forecast cone. While speaking to the press on Sunday, September 1, the President addressed Hurricane Dorian and its potential impact on multiple states, including Alabama," Brown said. "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 noted that Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas were originally predicted to fall in Dorian’s path, but that the storm shifted tracks.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump shared a series of charts dated Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 that indicated areas in Alabama had a 5 percent to 20 percent chance of experiencing storm-force winds, though newer projections were later released. He also shared an August 30 tweet from the Alabama National Guard saying that the storm was projected to reach the southern part of the state by the early part of this week.
“I was with you all the way Alabama. The Fake News Media was not!” Trump tweeted.
Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit. The Fake News denies it! pic.twitter.com/elJ7ROfm2p— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2019
I was with you all the way Alabama. The Fake News Media was not! https://t.co/gO5pwahaj9— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2019
The controversy began Sunday with Trump tweeting that Alabama along with Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida would “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” by the storm. His message prompted public confusion and led the National Weather Service in Birmingham to tweet that Alabama would “NOT” experience any effects from Dorian because the system would track too far east.