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If you haven’t found yourself on social media lately, maybe you’re confused why the hashtags “Sharpiegate,” “SharpiePresident” and “SharpieTrump” are currently trending. Or maybe you’re overjoyed at the brilliant Trump memes currently making the rounds, in need of even more to feed your Trump-despising soul.
You’ll find both here.
What is Sharpiegate? Let’s get you caught up.
For the past week, the United States and nearby island nations have sadly watched as Hurricane Dorian has wreaked havoc on Atlantic-adjacent communities. After ravaging The Bahamas for days, leaving deaths and destruction in its wake, it’s now battering the United States’ Eastern seaboard.
During impactful climate events like Dorian, many look to top leadership for forecasting and comfort. And we assume that was the intention of U.S. President Donald Trump staging a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Trump sat at his Oval Office desk and presented a map showing the hurricane’s projected path. But something was off.
Trump had already faced ridicule earlier in the week when he claimed via Twitter that the state of Alabama would be affected by Hurricane Dorian. Following that incorrect statement, the National Weather Service itself took to Twitter: “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.”
But instead of simply pointing out that he’d previously been given incorrect info, Trump stuck with his story that Alabama was in harm’s way. And at Wednesday’s press conference, the map Trump presented to the American public had been visibly altered with a black marker to rudimentarily add Alabama to the hurricane’s projected path. See the altered Sharpiegate map here, because you’ve got to see this to believe it:
And as Trump so often does, following the social media hubbub regarding Trump’s false statement about Alabama and subsequent Sharpiegate map, he’s since doubled-down. “Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path (up along the East Coast). The Fake News knows this very well. That’s why they’re the Fake News!” he tweeted yesterday.
The only good thing to come out of Sharpiegate is the continued ingenuity of Trump’s online detractors, who have really taken this embarrassing moment and run with it, doctoring other images to satirize the sheer ridiculousness of ‘attempting to gaslight via Sharpie marker.’