Democratic White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg pities the president, who tried passing off what appears to be a doctored map to make his case that Hurricane Dorian, which is near the East Coast, would hit Alabama, which it is not.
“I feel sorry for the President, and that is not the way we should feel about the most powerful figure in this country, somebody on whose wisdom our lives literally depend,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Thursday.
The president has on more than one occasion warned that Dorian, which devastated the Bahamas earlier this week before making its way up the Atlantic coast, would somehow hit Alabama, which is on the Gulf of Mexico. Even Alabama’s National Weather Service tweeted assurance to its citizens Sunday that “Alabama will T see any impacts from Dorian,” but Trump has continued to insist otherwise.
On Wednesday, the president showed reporters a map from the National Hurricane Center, which appeared to have been altered with a marker. He claimed the seemingly doctored map supported his claims that Alabama was initially thought to be in Dorian’s path.
“I don’t know if he felt it necessary to pull out a Sharpie and change the map, I don’t know if one of his aides felt they had to do that to protect his ego. No matter how you cut it, this is an unbelievably sad state of affairs for our country,” Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg, an Army veteran who was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., in 2015, had previously suggested ignoring the president’s reality TV antics.
“Part of how it works for him is he provokes us in ways that make it very hard for us to do anything but respond in kind — the nicknames, the tweets, the insults,” Buttigieg said on ABC’s “This Week” in May. He’d previously said “We’ve got to figure out a way to change the channel.”
“Look, when the presidency has been reduced to this, all of us are diminished because the presidency is supposed to be something we all look up to, even if we disagree with the president," the 37-year-old politician said. "What we’re seeing there is literally pathetic... It makes you feel a kind of pity for everybody involved, and that’s not how I want to feel about a president whether it’s for my party or the other.”
The president tweeted another map Wednesday seeming to show several projections from a week ago, well before Dorian made landfall, indicating a turn through the Gulf of Mexico was at one point considered a possibility.
Hurricane Dorian makes its way across the Bahamas and U.S.
“I accept the Fake News apologies!” he captioned that map.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has both declined to address Trump’s doctored map or his claim that Alabama was in danger.