Nets Hope Weather Map Will Finally Bring Down Trump: ‘90 Days in Prison?’

Responding to Donald Trump’s weird claim that Alabama was threatened by Hurricane Dorian, CBS, NBC and MSNBC on Thursday all jumped on the possibility of jail time for the President, perhaps hoping that a Sharpie pen could accomplish what Robert Mueller did not. The two networks and cable channel delighted in reading a criminal code statute, hyping a possible imprisonment for Trump. 

For some reason, the President has repeatedly doubled down on the incorrect assertion that Dorian threatened Alabama. At an event in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Trump showed a map with what appeared to have a marker used to include the state. From this confusing behavior, CBS This Morning’s Ben Tracy jumped to possible jail time: “Knowingly misrepresenting a government weather forecast is a crime and it’s punishable by up to 90 days in prison. As for now, the President keeps insisting he was right all along.” 

 

 

On NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander hyped, “By the way, it's against to law to knowingly issue or publish a false weather forecast.” 

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski seemed to think this was a game changer: “There's also U.S. statute on false weather reports. Is that worth noting, given the fact that I think the President might have given out a false weather report, right? So apparently it's against the law.”

On Wednesday’s The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell read from the criminal code: 

The Washington Post reporting today that altering that map could be a crime. The Washington Post reported, quote, “Altering official government weather forecasts isn't just a cause of concern. It's illegal, per 18 U.S. Code section 2074 which addresses false weather reports. Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau United States signal service or other branch of the government service, shall be find under this title or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both.”  

Will #SharpieGate finally bring down Trump? Stay tuned to journalists for more speculation: 

Transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more. 

CBS This Morning
9/5/19
7:16

ANTHONY MASON: President Trump is at the center of a hurricane controversy this morning as he stands by inaccurate claim about the states threatened by Dorian. At a briefing yesterday,  the President displayed a forecast map that raised eyebrows. It appeared to be altered with black line showing Dorian possibly striking Alabama in one of the early models. Here's the actual map put out by the National Hurricane Center. It does not show a threat to Alabama. Ben Tracy is at the White House. Ben, what is this all about? 

BEN TRACY: Well, for the past couple of days, the President has been playing the role of meteorologist-in-chief. He has been tweeting out updates about the hurricane and his thoughts about where it might land, even sometimes at odds with his own forecasters. Now, on Sunday Mr. Trump sent out this tweet saying that, in addition to Florida, other states, including Alabama, will most likely be hit. A few minutes later the National Weather Service tweeted Alabama will not see any impacts from Dorian. But the President kept insisting he was right. He then displayed that map in the Oval Office yesterday which looks as if someone used a marker to include Alabama in an effort to prove the President was correct. When asked bout it, this is what the president said. 

DONALD TRUMP: I know that Alabama was in the original forecast. They thought they would get it, as a piece of it. 

REPORTER: That map that you showed us today, it looked like it almost had, like, a sharpie. 

DONALD TRUMP: I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. 

TRACEY: Now, the government’s National Hurricane Service Center, which issues that map, never said Alabama was threatened. Oddly enough, knowingly misrepresenting a government weather forecast is a crime and it’s punishable by up to 90 days in prison. As for now, the President keeps insisting he was right all along. Dana? 

Today
9/5/19
7:11

PETER ALEXANDER: By the way, it's against to law to knowingly issue or publish a false weather forecast. But rather than acknowledge any mistake, late Wednesday, the President insisted Alabama was in an earlier forecast. Of course, when he made the comments on Sunday, Alabama was not in any danger. Craig and Hoda. 

 

Morning Joe
9/5/19
6:14

MIKA BRZEZINSKI:  There's also U.S. statute on false weather reports. Is that worth noting, given the fact that I think the President might have given out a false weather report, right? So apparently it's against the law. 

 

The Last Word

9/4/19
10:03PM ET 

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: The Washington Post reporting today that altering that map could be a crime. The Washington Post reported, quote, “Altering official government weather forecasts isn't just a cause of concern. It's illegal, per 18 U.S. Code section 2074 which addresses false weather reports. Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau United States signal service or other branch of the government service, shall be find under this title or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both.” 

 

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