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New Emails Show How President Trump Roiled NOAA During Hurricane Dorian

“A trove of documents released on Friday evening provides the clearest glimpse yet into how President Trump’s inaccurate statements, altered forecast map and tweets regarding Hurricane Dorian’s forecast path rattled top officials along with rank and file scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in September.

The documents, released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from The Washington Post and other media outlets, show that the No. 2 official at the agency, Ret. Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, claimed that neither he nor acting administrator Neil Jacobs approved a controversial unsigned statement that a NOAA spokesperson issued on Sept. 6. That statement criticized the National Weather Service forecast office in Birmingham for a tweet that contradicted Trump’s inaccurate assertion from Sept. 1, in which the president claimed that Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated” from the Category 5 storm.

The statement was widely interpreted within NOAA’s National Weather Service as contradicting an accurate forecast because of political pressure from the White House and the Department of Commerce.”
Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow report for the Washington Post February 1, 2020.