Former prime minister Kim Campbell has apologized after facing backlash online for tweeting that she’s “rooting” for Hurricane Dorian to directly hit Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by U.S. President Donald Trump.
“I have deleted my tweet about the hurricane & Mar a Lago and sincerely apologize to all it offended,” Campbell tweeted Friday.
“It was intended as sarcasm,” she explained, and was “not a serious wish of harm.”
“Throwaway lines get a life of their own on Twitter. I shd know better. Mea culpa,” her apology tweet said.
Florida has declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to strengthen into a potentially devastating Category 4 storm before it makes landfall on Monday. Mar-a-Lago is located in Palm Beach within the storm’s projected path.
Campbell made her initial controversial remark while retweeting a message about the hurricane’s predicted path on Wednesday.
“I’m rooting for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!” she wrote.
The tweet has been shared widely since Wednesday, sparking outrage in the United States ahead of the storm’s arrival. Many individuals have flooded her account with responses labelling her “disgusting” and accusing her of wishing death on others.
“Very densely populated area of Palm Beach,” Twitter user Chad Griffith wrote. “This tweet is in extremely poor taste.”
“I pray it dies no harm to anyone or anything as we all should be hoping for,” user Thomas Diamond said.
The tweet had been deleted by Friday afternoon.
WATCH: Hurricane Dorian intensifies as it barrels toward U.S.
Campbell served as prime minister for approximately four months in 1993 before her Progressive Conservative Party was swept out of power and she lost her seat in a federal election. She is Canada’s first and only female prime minister to date.
Today, Campbell is a frequent Twitter user who often criticizes Trump on various issues, including his climate change denials.
WATCH: Trump rejects dire report on climate change compiled by government scientists
Campbell has written several tweets about the hurricane since Wednesday, including one that seemed to clarify her remarks about Mar-a-Lago.
“We will see if Mrs. Post’s design can stand up to the assault!” she wrote, referring to Mar-a-Lago’s original owner, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.
“I know Palm Beach well and am sorry if it gets a big hit,” Campbell wrote. “I wish I believe that it shake up Trump’s climate change denial!”
Campbell also criticized Trump for scrapping regulations restricting methane emissions in the U.S.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says it’s concerned that Hurricane Dorian appears to be slowing down as it approaches Florida. The weather watchdog says a slow-moving storm would put parts of Florida “at an increased risk of a prolonged, drawn-out event of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and heavy rainfall.”
The storm’s maximum sustained wind speed was clocked at nearly 175 kilometres per hour on Friday morning.Follow @JoshKElliott
— With files by Maryam Shah
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