clearn.png
Monday September 23rd, 2019 3:13AM

Trump denies ordering NOAA to rebuke forecasters over Dorian

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied instructing an aide to urge a federal agency to repudiate weather forecasters who contradicted his claim that Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama.

Trump responded to a New York Times report that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly disavow the position that Alabama was not at risk.

A senior administration official told The Associated Press Wednesday night that Mulvaney pushed Ross to "fix" the issue with the Alabama forecast. The official, who was not authorized to openly discuss private conversations and requested anonymity, said Mulvaney was acting to help Trump but it was not clear whether Trump actually asked him to act.

NOAA said in a statement last Friday that National Weather Service forecasters in Birmingham, Alabama, "spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time." The statement raised questions of whether NOAA was placing politics over science in its priorities and has prompted an investigation from the Commerce Department's inspector general and a House committee.

Trump was asked if he told Mulvaney to disavow the Alabama forecasters. "No, I never did that," the president said, then called the story a hoax.

Many of his comments about the storm have defended his erroneous claim that Alabama was likely to face significant impact from Dorian. On Friday evening, NOAA issued an unsigned statement that came to the president's defense and seemed critical of the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

Speaking to a meteorology group Tuesday, acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs said the statement was meant to clarify "technical aspects" about Dorian's potential impact.

"What it did not say, however, was that we understood and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather forecast office, which was to calm fears in support of public safety," Jacobs said.

The Commerce Department's internal watchdog, Peggy Gustafson, is examining the circumstances surrounding NOAA's statement and has requested records of all communications, including emails and text messages. She also wants a description of all calls and meetings on the issue. She requested the information from Jacobs.

Democratic leaders on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee wrote Ross on Wednesday requesting a briefing with department employees who may have been involved in any directives to NOAA related to the agency's statement critical of the forecasters in Birmingham.

"We are committed to supporting the activities of the NWS and its dedicated staff," said Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. "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.' However, actions by you that were described in the New York Times article would, if accurate, be inconsistent with the values of scientific integrity."

__

Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
With "Eve," Rapsody gains traction in the best rapper debate
The debate over who reigns supreme as the greatest rapper of the moment is never-ending and never settled
2:04PM ( 1 minute ago )
Trump denies ordering NOAA to rebuke forecasters over Dorian
President Donald Trump is denying the White House urged a federal agency to repudiate weather forecasters who contradicted his claim that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama
1:59PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Bill giving protections to Uber drivers, others moves ahead
The California Assembly is expected to give final consideration to a bill that would provide new wage and benefit protections to workers at so-called gig economy companies such as Uber and Lyft where people pick up jobs on their own schedule
1:49PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump to propose ban on flavorings used in e-cigarettes
President Donald Trump says his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of breathing problems tied to vaping
1:14PM ( 51 minutes ago )
UK court rules Johnson's suspension of Parliament unlawful
In a blow to Britain's PM, a Scottish court rules Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament less than two months before the U.K. is due to leave the European Union was unlawful.
1:10PM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump says Bolton didn't get along with team
President Donald Trump says former national security adviser John Bolton was not aligned with his administration's priorities
1:10PM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
With "Eve," Rapsody gains traction in the best rapper debate
The debate over who reigns supreme as the greatest rapper of the moment is never-ending and never settled
2:04PM ( 1 minute ago )
Bill giving protections to Uber drivers, others moves ahead
The California Assembly is expected to give final consideration to a bill that would provide new wage and benefit protections to workers at so-called gig economy companies such as Uber and Lyft where people pick up jobs on their own schedule
1:49PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Government will propose banning flavors used in e-cigarettes
President Donald Trump says his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes
1:48PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Delle Donne earns AP player of the year; Collier top rookie
Elena Delle Donne honored as Associated Press WNBA Player of the Year honors
1:43PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Patriots' Brown practices, status for Sunday's game unclear
Patriots receiver Antonio Brown practices a day after former trainer accuses of sexual assault
1:42PM ( 24 minutes ago )