Monday 16 September 2019

Donald Trump falsely claims he has never heard of a Category 5 hurricane

The president made the claim as the United States prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian.

US President Donald Trump has said yet again that he has never heard of a ‘Category 5’ hurricane (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
US President Donald Trump has said yet again that he has never heard of a ‘Category 5’ hurricane (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Alistair Mason, PA

President Donald Trump has said he is not sure if he has “ever even heard of a Category 5” hurricane – despite having made the same claim when similar storms threatened the United States in previous years.

Mr Trump’s statement came as the east coast of the country prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, which ripped through the Bahamas with winds of up to 185mph – the second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.

The president said: “I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I’ve seen some Category 4s. You don’t even see them that much.

“But a Category 5 is something – I don’t know that I’ve ever even heard the term, other than I know it’s there.”

Mr Trump’s self-proclaimed ignorance of Category 5 hurricanes was a surprise to some given this was due to be the fourth such storm to affect the United States during his presidency following Irma and Maria in 2017 and Michael last year.

And, as was pointed out by CNN reporter Daniel Dale on Twitter, the president has made such claims several times before – most recently in May this year.

(PA Graphics)

In September 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Mr Trump said: “It actually hit the Keys with a – it was a Category 5. I never even knew a Category 5 existed.”

He made similar statements later that same year when discussing Hurricane Maria, and in May this year said: “I’ve just come from a stop at Tyndall Air Force Base, where I saw the devastating effects of that Category 5 hurricane, Category 5. Never heard about Category 5s before, a Category 5 is big stuff.”

Dorian will be the fourth Category 5 hurricane to affect the United States during Mr Trump’s three years in office. There was only one during the eight years of his predecessor Barack Obama’s presidency.

Mr Trump also incorrectly claimed on Sunday that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama “harder than anticipated”, leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a clarification.

NWS tweeted: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”

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