The agency needed to fix the matter immediately

Yes Trump actually did order NOAA to contradict its own staff in order to back up his mistake about Alabama. Yes he is that dishonest and that petty and that dictatorial and that willing to abuse his power.

President Trump told his staff that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration needed to deal with a tweet that seemed to contradict his statement that Hurricane Dorian posed a significant threat to Alabama as of Sept. 1, in contrast to what the agency’s forecasters were predicting at the time, senior administration officials said. This led chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to call Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to tell him to fix the issue, the officials said.

That should never happen. Trump is not Henry VIII and we are not his subjects. Saying Trump is wrong is not treason and we get to do it.

He whined about it for days and days, the senior officials said.

Mulvaney then called Ross but did not instruct him to threaten any firings or make any punitive threats, officials said. He simply told Ross that the agency needed to fix the matter immediately, leading to a new statement that was issued Friday, Sept. 6.

But of course the agency didn’t “need” any such thing. The agency was being forced to by the underlings of an out of control authoritarian shit.

Trump told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he did not direct NOAA to issue such a statement. “No, I never did that,” he said. “I never did that. It’s a hoax by the media. That’s just fake news. Right from the beginning, it was a fake story.”

That’s our Tiny Shoes. He issues an authoritarian order that he has no right to issue, and then he lies to us about it.

Democrats on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology are launching an investigation into the Commerce Department’s involvement in NOAA’s unusual decision to side with Trump over its scientists.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.) and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), chairwoman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, sent a letter to Ross requesting information related to the department’s dealings with NOAA regarding Dorian.

The Science Committee, which has jurisdiction over NOAA, is requesting a briefing with Commerce Department staff who may have been involved in issuing instructions to NOAA that led to several directives being issued to Weather Service staff and culminated in the Sept. 6 unsigned statement, which disavowed a tweet sent by the Birmingham office Sept. 1.

 

The Trump people will tell them to refuse, and the committee will give up.

“We are deeply disturbed by the politicization of NOAA’s weather forecast activities for the purpose of supporting incorrect statements by the president,” Johnson and Sherrill wrote to Ross. The House members are seeking answers to who ordered and helped draft the Sept. 6 statement and whether Commerce Department or White House staff members were involved in threatening NOAA leadership to secure the statement.

“We are committed to supporting the activities of the NWS and its dedicated staff. During your Senate confirmation hearing, you committed to allowing federal scientists to ‘be free to communicate data clearly and concisely’ and that you would ‘not interfere with the release of factual scientific data,’ ” Johnson and Sherrill wrote to Ross.

They noted that based on news reports, it appears that Ross violated the “values of scientific integrity.”

The Science Committee is requesting all records of communication between Commerce Department officials, NOAA and the White House between Sept. 1 and 9 pertaining to the president’s tweet and NOAA’s Sept. 6 statement.

The committee wants to hear from three Commerce Department officials in particular by Sept. 30: NOAA deputy chief of staff Julie Kay Roberts, Commerce Department chief of staff Michael Walsh Jr. and Commerce Department policy director Earl Comstock.

That’s all very good but we know Trump will just tell everyone to say no, and that will be the end of it.

There are other probes though.

In addition to the Science Committee’s investigation, others are initiating probes into NOAA’s decision to back Trump’s claim. These include the Commerce Department’s inspector general and NOAA’s acting chief scientist.

A spokesman for the NWS confirmed Tuesday that the Commerce Department inspector general had launched a probe. The spokesman said two senior leaders had received notice of the investigation.

Good. That’s good. We can’t have a dictator telling NOAA which weather it gets to warn us about.

In addition, NOAA acting chief scientist Craig McLean wrote an email Sunday saying he would open an investigation into whether the agency’s Sept. 6 statement, as well as previous emails to NWS staff, violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy.

“The content of this news release is very concerning as it compromises the ability of NOAA to convey life-saving information necessary to avoid substantial and specific danger to public health and safety,” he wrote. “If the public cannot trust our information, or we debase our forecaster’s warnings and products, that specific danger arises.”

As a result, McLean told his staff that “I am pursuing the potential violations of our NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity.”

“I have a responsibility to pursue these truths,” he added. “I will.”

The scientific integrity policy includes a provision that states, “In no circumstance may any NOAA official ask or direct Federal scientists or other NOAA employees to suppress or alter scientific findings.”

Aha. That spells it out. That’s not the same as being enforceable, but maybe it will work out that way.

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