Inspector general report faults White House pressure in ‘Sharpiegate’
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — An inspector general report alleges intense political pressure from the White House and the Department of Commerce regarding the path of Hurricane Dorian in September in what later became known as “Sharpiegate.”
The White House pushed for a “correction” of a National Weather Service tweet that contradicted President Donald Trump, according to the internal watchdog report issued today.
The 115-page report from the Commerce Department inspector general also unveiled the involvement of then-acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in the correction demand, as well as an unsigned statement rebuking the tweet.
“It appears as if the NWS intentionally contradicted the president,” the report quotes Mulvaney as writing in an email to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “And we need to know why. He wants either a correction or an explanation or both.”
The details what the weather chief described “crazy” middle-of-the-night texts, calls and emails from political officials to get the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to criticize the Birmingham, Ala., weather office.
The Alabama office had told residents in a tweet that they were safe from Hurricane Dorian just 10 minutes after Trump tweeted they could get hit hard.
The jobs of NOAA officials were not threatened directly, but some NOAA officials felt that jobs were in danger, the report said.
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