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Trump gives an Oval Office briefing on the status of Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

NOAA acting administrator Neil Jacobs on Tuesday both defended the Trump administration and thanked forecasters who contradicted the president’s claims about Hurricane Dorian threatening Alabama, AP and the Washington Post report.

Why it matters: Per AP, meteorologists have been concerned that NOAA had risked the credibility of the U.S. weather and science agency, and perhaps even lives, by issuing an unsigned statement Friday supporting President Trump's claim, after the National Weather Service's Birmingham office tweeted that Alabama would not be impacted.

Weather should not be a partisan issue."
— NOAA acting administrator Neil Jacobs

Details: Jacobs became emotional while telling a meteorology group that the purpose of the NOAA statement was to "clarify the technical aspects of the potential impacts of Dorian," noting that "at one point, Alabama was in the mix, as was the rest of the Southeast."

"What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather office, which was to calm fears and support public safety."
  • Jacobs addressed a report by the New York Times report that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had threatened to fire NOAA officials who contradicted Trump (The Commerce Department denied to Axios that the incident occurred and called the NYT report "false.").
  • He assured forecasters they had his full support and that no one's job was under threat. "There is no pressure to change the way you communicate forecast," he said.

The big picture: NOAA's statement was met with outrage by members of the weather community. On Tuesday, NOAA's acting chief scientist Craig McLean joined the chorus of voices condemning the agency's action.

Go deeper: Read: Letter from NOAA's top scientist condemns "political" statement backing Trump

Editor’s note: This post was updated to add additional comments from NOAA acting administrator Neil Jacobs and the Commerce Department.

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

The state of play: Biden and Vice President-elect Biden have arrived at the Capitol. Members of congressional leadership and VIPs will soon be introduced. Watch a livestream here.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
20 mins ago - Economy & Business

Momentum builds for major antitrust reform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's outgoing antitrust chief Makan Delrahim on Tuesday endorsed a proposal from House Democrats that would put new limits on acquisitions by large companies, during comments made at a Duke University event.

Why it matters: Momentum is building for major antitrust reform, updating rules that were written for railroads instead of routers.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.