ONE of Donald Trump’s top advisers reportedly threatened to sack weather experts who rubbished the president’s claims Alabama was to be hit by Hurricane Dorian.
The news comes after Mr Trump was accused of editing a map of the megastorm’s projected path to include the state – which was never in harm’s way.
Now it’s been reported Wilbur Ross, the US secretary of commerce, turned on employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) after they contradicted the president.
An hour after Mr Trump tweeted Dorian would likely hit Alabama, the NOAA’s office in Birmingham, Alabama, replied: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”
It added the 225mph weather “monster” would bypass the east of the state – which turned out to be the case.
According to the New York Times, Mr Ross’s threat led to a letter from NOAA disavowing not only its tweet, but the organisation’s own knowledge of the storm in favour of Mr Trump’s claim.
It stated sources said Mr Ross threatened high-level employees – two days after the president displayed the “altered” hurricane map.
Mr Ross reportedly called Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, and told him to “fix” the agency’s contradiction.
Wilbur Ross, the US secretary of commerce, reportedly warned jobs were on the line[/caption]
Mr Ross was reportedly on holiday when he contacted bosses at the national weather centre[/caption]
The reports claim when Dr Jacobs objected, he was told that the staff appointed by the administration at NOAA, or the political staff, would be fired.
The storm over the Alabama claim spiralled after a White House video showed the President pointing to a map showing the states that could be hit in what is called the “cone of uncertainty”.
However, a curved line had clearly been added to the cone on the chart apparently to show how Dorian could move on from Florida to Alabama.
A sharpie pen was then spotted on Trump’s desk leading to claims it had been used to alter the map to vindicate his claim Alabama was in the path of the storm.
When reporters later asked him whether the chart had been edited with a pen, the President said: “I don’t know; I don’t know.”
Earlier, in the video he said: “It was going to hit not only Florida, but Georgia, it could have, it was going towards the Gulf, that was what we, what was originally projected.”
Dorian, however, was never projected to be heading toward the Gulf of Mexico, where Alabama has a coastline.
Then last Monday, ABC News’ White House correspondent Jon Karl said the President had “misstated the storm’s possible trajectory”.
Furious at this, Trump tweeted: “Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter @jonkarl of @ABCWorldNews.
“I suggested yesterday at FEMA that, along with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, even Alabama could possibly come into play, which WAS true.”
Trump later cited the original forecasts to argue that he was right all along.
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But stung by reporting of the alleged sharpie pen edit, he tweeted to set the record straight.
According to AP news agency, forecasts from the Friday before indicated that a small strip of Alabama might be affected by Dorian.
However, by the next morning meteorologists were no longer predicting the southern state would be in the hurricane’s path.
Hurricane Dorian hit the east coast of Florida after devastating the Bahamas[/caption]
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