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Prominent online collusion poster Seth Abramson has a theory about why President Donald Trump refuses to admit that he was wrong when he said Hurricane Dorian was going to hit Alabama: To prevent himself from being impeached.
Yes, you read that right.
In case you haven’t been following this week’s Trump Administration “so unbelievable it must be true” story, here’s what went down. On Sunday, as Hurricane Dorian annihilated the Bahamas and took aim at the Southeast, Trump tweeted, “In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
The only problem: Alabama was not in the hurricane’s path. Forecasts from the day before confirmed this.
Trump’s warning prompted the National Weather Service to hastily correct the record.
“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,” NWS’s Alabama office tweeted 20 minutes later.
Nevertheless, since then, Trump has steadfastly refused to admit that he was wrong. He even tweeted a video that included a map of the storm’s projected path that looked like it had been doctored with a Sharpie to encompass Alabama.
Even among Trump gaffes followed by him doubling, tripling, even quadrupling down, the Alabama Dorian incident stands out as particularly incomprehensible. Why wouldn’t he just move on and go back to dragging Debra Messing or blaming Obama for something?
Enter Seth Abramson, Trump decoder.
Last night, Abramson laid out his theory in a Twitter thread. In short, he believes that Trump is using the hurricane error to cozy up to Alabamans in the hopes of helping the Republican who runs against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in 2020. This, he posits, is Trump playing a long game to avoid getting convicted by the Senate after the House impeaches him.
“Don’t sleep for a moment on the real possibility that the ongoing “Dorian in Alabama” sideshow is about impeachment. Alabama Sen. Doug Jones—Democrat—is up for election in 2020. Trump wants the seat—especially as there may be an impeachment trial. So he needs Alabama to love him,” he wrote.
Don't sleep for a moment on the real possibility that the ongoing "Dorian in Alabama" sideshow is about impeachment. Alabama Sen. Doug Jones—Democrat—is up for election in 2020. Trump wants the seat—especially as there may be an impeachment trial. So he needs Alabama to love him. https://t.co/ZaAtzAAgHd— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 6, 2019
Abramson believes Trump realizes that if Democrats get their hands on his tax returns, they’ll find a treasure trove of “grave misconduct” that will make “a post-impeachment conviction […] a real possibility.” For this reason, “he’ll want as many Senate allies as he can have.”
Abramson predicts the House may impeach Trump before the 2020 election. This would be followed by a court battle, and a post-2020 election conviction proceeding in the Senate, as required to remove a president from office.
In Abramson’s mind, this could be the method behind the madness of Trump’s seemingly nonsensical fixation on Alabama.
3/ This is part of a broader idea that's in my head and I think many others': an impeachment pre-election; a court battle over whether there will be a Senate trial that drags on awhile; and a Senate trial post-election, with a new Senate. Thus, Trump caring about the 2020 Senate.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 6, 2019
It’s so wild, it just might be right. But it also ignores—like Abramson often does—the very simple truth.
Trump just can’t let shit go.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.