The White House pressured the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration into backing President Trump over weather forecasters who disputed Trump’s incorrect claim that Hurricane Dorian would likely strike Alabama, according to news reports.
“Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly disavow the forecasters’ position that Alabama was not at risk,” the New York Times reported today, citing anonymous sources. Ross then warned NOAA “that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation was not addressed,” the Times wrote.
Mulvaney took this action after “President Trump told his staff that the [NOAA] needed to correct a tweet that seemed to contradict his statement that Hurricane Dorian posed a significant threat to Alabama as of Sept. 1,” the Washington Post wrote in an article on the same topic. There are now multiple investigations into whether the NOAA’s scientific integrity and independence were undermined.