Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reportedly threatened to fire leading employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after their Birmingham office contradicted President Donald Trump, The New York Times reports.
Trump tweeted last week that the storm could hit Alabama, a claim that the National Weather Service’s Birmingham station refuted on Twitter. The NOAA later sent an unsigned statement last Friday addressing the tweet and rebuking the Birmingham station and disavowing their assertion.
This statement is now being investigated by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General, Peggy E. Gustafson, who said in a message to NOAA staff seeking documents that the events “call into question the NWS’s processes, scientific independence, and ability to communicate accurate and timely weather warnings and data to the nation in times of national emergency.”
The Commerce Department said in a statement to the Times: “Secretary Ross did not threaten to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian.”
The department spokesperson declined to comment on whether the secretary had talked to the NOAA administrator or gave the order for the agency to refute the Alabama station. The Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General did not respond to the Times’ request for comment.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.