Commerce Secretary under fire for threatening top employees involving Trump's Alabama scandal
The Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur L. Ross Jr, threatened to fire top employees at the NOAA shortly after the agency's Birmingham office came out contradicting Trump's claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, the New York Times is reporting.
We already reported that the Commerce Secretary's department had to sign off on the unusual, unsigned statement coming out in defense of the president, with several top scientists calling it a political move only meant to serve the interests of the president.
This new revelation proves that Ross was personally involved and went above and beyond to make sure the president got his desired outcome.
Mr. Ross, according to three people familiar with his actions, phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of the NOAA, and told him to fix the problem.
Dr. Jacobs objected to this demand and in response was told that political staff at the NOAA would be fired if his wishes were not fulfilled.
What followed was the release of a statement that no one is saying publicly who authored.
Today, Craig N. McLean, NOAA’s acting chief scientist, is saying that hes looking into "potential violations" within the agency to back Trump and says that the agency's action is “a danger to public health and safety.”
McLean is one of the few people willing to release his name because of warnings from the top to not speak out against Trump.
A NOAA meteorologist says that something like this has never happened before.
“This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast,” the meteorologist said. “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.”