President Donald Trump’s commentary on Hurricane Dorian’s size and potential extermination has been nothing short of harrowing these last few days, with him forecasting an atmospheric “monster” of unprecedented size to barrel into the U.S ., striking as far west as Alabama.
Though his commentary hasn’t been all correct, according to the National Weather Service, it does appear to exemplify his ongoing fixation with size.
The former reality television superstar on Sunday exclaimed in an interview that he doesn’t know whether he’s “ever even heard of a Category 5 hurricane, ” which Dorian — since downgraded to a Category 2 — was at the time. This is despite there having been three earlier Category 5 cyclones during his presidency: Irma, Maria and Michael.
“I knew it existed, and I’ve seen some Category 4s — you don’t even consider them that much — but a Category 5 is something that I don’t know that I’ve ever even heard the word other than I know it’s there, ” he told reporters.
That same day he tweeted a warning that Alabama is among the states most likely to be “hit harder than anticipated” by the approaching storm.
The National Weather Service later indirectly corrected Trump in its own tweet, insisting that Alabama “will NOT ensure any impacts from Dorian.” Despite this, Trump on Monday lashed out at an ABC reporter who fact-checked his inclusion of Alabama, calling the network’s report “phony” and insisting he was not wrong.
Also, in a video proclamation on Friday outside the White House, Trump alerted spectators that the approaching blizzard could be an “absolute monster.”
“It does seem almost certain that it’s hitting dead centre and that’s not good, ” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get lucky … all indications are it’s going to hit very hard and it’s going to be very big. Somebody said bigger or at least as big as Andrew, ” he said, referencing the 1992 Category 5 storm that was the most destructive to ever make Florida.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, theorizing on the reason behind Trump’s amplification of storm developments, suggested that in his intellect, bigger is always better.
“I think it’s something that he likes the audio of a big number, so it’s,’ Wow, Category 5, ’” she said on CNN Monday. “I think he just likes the audio of it and he thinks that a big number sounds good. He has always been somebody who traffics in big numbers.”
As for Trump’s penchant for updates and commentary, Haberman speculated that the president likes being the first with datum, even if it’s half-baked.
“Because it voices better to say,’ Wow, can you believe this? This is shocking new information I’m presenting to you, ’” she said.
One such tool he uses to do this is, of course, Twitter, where over approximately 60 hours — between 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning and 8 p. m. Monday night — he issued 122 tweets to the public, The New York Times reported.
As serious of a blizzard as Trump warned Dorian could be to the U.S ., the president was ridiculed on social media for hitting a golf course on Saturday and Monday. This was after he gave the impression on Friday that he would spend the weekend monitoring the cyclone with experts at Camp David in Maryland.
Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to made the green following criticism by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, arguing that it was “a very fast round.”