"Lawmakers, Commerce Department launch investigations into NOAA’s decision to back the president over forecasters."
"President Trump told his staff that the nation’s leading weather forecasting agency needed to correct a statement that contradicted a tweet the president had sent wrongly claiming that Hurricane Dorian threatened Alabama, senior administration officials said.
That led White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to call Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to tell him to fix the issue, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the issue. Trump had complained for several days that forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contradicted his Sept. 1 Alabama tweet, the officials said.
Mulvaney then called Ross, who was traveling in Greece, and told him that the agency needed to fix things immediately, the officials said. Mulvaney did not instruct Ross to threaten any firings or offer punitive actions. But Ross then called NOAA acting administrator Neil Jacobs, the officials said. That led to an unusual, unsigned statement from NOAA released on Sept. 6 that backed Trump’s false claim about Alabama and admonished the National Weather Service’s Birmingham, Ala., division for speaking “in absolute terms” that there would not be “any” impacts from Dorian in the state. The Weather Service is an arm of NOAA, which is an agency within the Commerce Department. The New York Times first reported some elements of the White House involvement."
Andrew Freedman, Josh Dawsey, Juliet Eilperin, and Jason Samenow report for the Washington Post September 11, 2019.