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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.