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White House Pressed for NOAA to Disavow Forecasters’ Tweet Contradicting Trump
|Last Edited||IndyGeorgia Sep 11, 2019 06:55pm|
|Author||Catherine Lucey and Rebecca Ballhaus|
|News Date||Wednesday, September 11, 2019 11:25:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||WASHINGTON—The White House pushed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to walk back a tweet that contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian likely posed a threat to Alabama. |
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to fix the situation, a senior administration official said. The official said Mr. Mulvaney didn’t make any threats and reached out to Mr. Ross in support of the president, who had been complaining about the issue.
Mr. Mulvaney’s efforts—first reported by the New York Times—came as Mr. Trump grew increasingly frustrated with public criticism of his false claim about Alabama. Ultimately, NOAA released an unsigned statement Friday—five days after Trump made his original claim on Twitter—criticizing the National Weather Service forecasters in Birmingham who had disputed and corrected the suggestion that Alabama was in the storm’s path.
The National Weather Service is a part of NOAA, which is under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department. A Commerce spokesman said Mr. Ross hadn’t threatened to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian, but declined to say whether the secretary had contacted NOAA on the matter.
Mr. Trump on Wednesday denied directing Mr. Mulvaney to disavow the forecasters who had contradicted his assertion about the threat to Alabama. “I never did that,” he said, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office.
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