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The head of the National Weather Service issued a strong public defense Monday of forecasters who contradicted Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian posed a threat to Alabama as it approached the United States.

Director Louis Uccellini said forecasters in Birmingham did the right thing Sept. 1 when they tried to combat public panic and rumors that Dorian posed a threat to Alabama. It was only later that they found out the source of the mistaken information, he said.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Weather Association, Uccellini said Birmingham forecasters “did what any office would do to protect the public.”

“They did that with one thing in mind: public safety,” said Uccellini, who prompted a standing ovation from hundreds of forecasters by asking members of the Birmingham weather staff to stand.

Earlier, the president of the 2,100-member association, Paul Schlatter, said any forecast office “would have done the exact same thing” as the Birmingham forecast office.

Trump has defended his tweet about Alabama, and he displayed an altered forecast map in the Oval Office last week in an attempt to make his point. Apparently siding with Trump, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an unsigned statement critical of the Birmingham forecasters Friday.

But Alabama had never been included in hurricane advisories and Trump’s information, based on less authoritative computer models than an official forecast, was outdated when he sent a tweet saying Alabama could be affected by Dorian.

Discussing the flurry of social media contacts and phone calls that followed Trump’s tweet, Uccellini said Birmingham forecasters used “an emphasis they deemed essential to shut down what they thought were rumors” when they posted on social media that Alabama’s wasn’t at risk.

“Only later, when the retweets and politically based comments started coming to their office, did they learn the sources of this information,” he said.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)