I never thought we’d have a major scandal over weather forecasts, but I guess anything is possible in the Trump era.
The New York Times is now reporting that Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney pressured Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to force the NOAA to issue the now-infamous — and totally false — statement backing Donald Trump’s Alabama hurricane fantasies:
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. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, issued an unsigned statement last Friday in response, saying that the Birmingham, Ala., office was wrong to dispute the president’s warning.
In pressing NOAA’s acting administrator to take action, Mr. Ross warned that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation was not addressed, The New York Times previously reported. Mr. Ross’s spokesman has denied that he threatened to fire anyone, and a senior administration official on Wednesday said Mr. Mulvaney did not tell the commerce secretary to make such a threat.
The release of the NOAA statement provoked complaints that the Trump administration was improperly intervening in the professional weather forecasting system to justify the president’s mistaken assertion. The Commerce Department’s inspector general is investigating how that statement came to be issued, saying it could call into question scientific independence.
Hey, Donald. When we said focus on the hurricane, this is definitely not what we meant.
So, to sum up:
Trump has trashed the credibility and reputations of career government scientists, forced a commerce secretary to threaten NOAA officials into lying lest they be fired, and turned the White House into (more of) a joke, just because he couldn’t admit he made a minor mistake about … the weather.
Gee, Donnie, is that a banana republic in your pocket or are you just Mussolini?
I mean, what the ever-living fuck is this?
It’s the weather, FFS, not something vitally important like, say, an inauguration crowd.
How many more days will this embarrassing episode stay in the news cycle?
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