Hurricane Michael and Trump's falsehood

Monday, October 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Hurricane Michael has shown that President Donald Trump can't always be counted on to give accurate information to the public when a natural disaster unfolds.

Trump wrongly stated that the hurricane moved across land with blazing speed, which stopped a terrible situation from becoming even worse because the storm didn't linger. He also at least mildly exaggerated the ferocity of the storm's winds.

His rhetorical record in times of calamity has been spotty.

Trump described last year's Hurricane Maria as a Category 5 storm when it hit Puerto Rico; it was a 4. He invented a story that Democrats made up a high death toll on the island and, in the case of Hurricane Harvey and Texas, stated without evidence that thousands of water rescues resulted from people going “out in their boats to watch” the deadly storm.

The political winds swirled, too, over the past week, as Trump rallied hard for Republicans in the Nov 6 elections that will determine control of Congress.

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