The Trump administration on Sunday evening claimed that the White House experienced its “first snow of the year”—despite contradictory weather reports and residents saying the temperature was at least 20 degrees too warm for snowfall. The White House later clarified the picture was from Washington D.C.’s actual first snow of the year on January 7, when President Donald Trump met with Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“First snow of the year!” the White House’s official Twitter page wrote, alongside an image of the building surrounded by snow.
Immediately after the tweet was shared, hundreds of Americans took to social media to accuse the White House of lying about the snow. “It was 70 degrees today. There is no snow out there,” national security lawyer Bradley Moss tweeted. “Narrator: it’s 53 degrees in Washington DC right now,” Daily Beast editor Molly Jong-Fast added.
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication. Hours later, at 11: 33 pm ET on Sunday evening, the White House shared a flickr.com page that explained the photo was actually taken on Tuesday January 7, 2020.
According to weather reports, the temperature was roughly between 51-53 degrees fahrenheit in Washington D.C. when the White House shared the photo. On Sunday, the U.S. capital experienced highs of 68 degrees and lows of 43 degrees, still nearly 10 degrees warmer than the temperature it takes for snow to form.
The tweet on Sunday was not the first time team Trump had made a misleading statement about the weather that contradicted scientific forecasts. Last September, Trump was brutally mocked after he displayed a map showing Hurricane Dorian’s projected path in the Oval Office, which appeared to have been doctored with a sharpie pen to include the state of Alabama in its expected path.
Trump later doubled down on his assertion that Alabama might have been in Dorian’s path after the National Weather Service denied that the state would be affected. “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,” the Alabama National Weather Service tweeted, in an attempt to correct the president’s claim.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) acting chief then jumped to Trump’s defense and dismissed the agency’s own projections. The weather tweet “spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,” the NOAA said in a statement.
When reporters asked Trump who amended the map with a sharpie, the president claimed that he did not know who changed the map or whether it was altered at all. An unnamed White House official later told the Washington Post that had Trump marked the map himself.
Updated: This story has been updated to include a tweet later shared by the White House at 11: 33 p.m. ET on Sunday evening, after this report was published.