From threatened NOAA staff to retaliation: A commission will be necessary in 2020

Trump’s altered map

We just learned that a top NOAA official sent out an agency-wide directive warning staff not to correct Trump’s inaccurate statement on Alabama. A meteorologist blew the whistle:

This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around. One of the things we train on is to dispel inaccurate rumors and ultimately that is what was occurring — ultimately what the Alabama office did is provide a forecast with their tweet, that is what they get paid to do. 

This is where we are now. Top Trump officials are intimidating scientists at NOAA to give inaccurate, potentially dangerous information in order to placate Trump’s fragile ego. 

The meteorologist feared retribution for speaking out and was right to think that.

Over at the State Department, two Trump-appointed loyalists harassed, bullied, and even pushed out career officials over “perceived” political views according to a recent report by the Inspector General’s office.

One of them was Mari Stull, a wine blogger and lobbyist, who was appointed by Trump in a position she had no business being in: Senior Advisor for the State Department’s International Organization Bureau. She had one qualification—unfettered loyalty to Trump. She thought everyone at the State Department should share the same fealty, so she composed “loyalty lists” of career staffers. 

She reviewed the social media pages of State Department staffers for any signs of “disloyalty.” She personally researched the names of government employees to determine whether they “signed off” on Obama-era policies. She failed to understand that their job was to clear policies through the bureaucracy, which is not the same as personally endorsing them.