Wilbur Ross and the Trump War on Truth

The commerce secretary deceived Congress on the census and threatened those who told the truth about the weather. The boss must be pleased.

Comments: 192

  1. Small wonder that Mr. Trump finds Mr. Ross helpful in his determined march away from truth. As with Mr. Trump, there has been plenty of reporting about Mr. Ross that highlights his distance from integrity in his business dealings. As they say, "Google it."

  2. Ross must go. Now.

  3. Flotsam abounds in the swamp.

  4. A government of grifters, thanks republicans!

  5. Yet another individual who, regardless of anything he said or did before, will go down in history as a sycophant and nothing more.

  6. As we used to say when I was growing up in the Bronx: "T'row da Bums out!"

  7. Ross must go. He has no business serving this nation in any capacity.

  8. @TaminoPR He must go? Who is going to fire him? He is doing just what Trump wants.

  9. @TaminoPR Yes, Ross should be fired. And so should the cowards (reportedly acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs and NOAA communications director Julie Kay Roberts) who drafted and released the unsigned statement supporting Trump's view and criticizing the accurate report from the Birmingham office of the weather service.

  10. @TaminoPR He has no aptitude nor inclination to serve this nation.

  11. What about the deals Ross made involving the Russians through the Bank of Cyprus? How come that investigation never went anywhere?

  12. @Wordsworth from Wadsworth That's what happens when Democrats don't focus on a few, key issues and instead have 7 different committees scatter shot investigating too many issues.

  13. @Wordsworth from Wadsworth Bill Barr shuts down the inconvenient truth from his bully pulpit at the DOJ. Same way he has squelched the investigation into the NY field office of the FBI that was leaking information damaging to Clinton to Giuliani before the election.

  14. @Wordsworth from Wadsworth 20 years ago, doing business in Irkutsk, Siberia, I had to arrange a funds transfer from the USA to Russia. The fluent-English speaking woman I was dealing with, gave me her Cyprus banking info. I had never heard of this. She was amused. "Cyprus is OUR bank" she said. And this was 20 years ago. Whatever can it be like now?

  15. Word is the real reason why former national security adviser John Bolton was fired/resigned is because he too insisted on telling the truth about Hurricane Dorian.

  16. @Jay Orchard What "word on the streets"? I have not seen this anywhere

  17. @FerCry'nTears You saw it here first because it's a joke.

  18. @FerCry'nTears On Joke Street.

  19. Somewhere, Putin is playing a fiddle.

  20. It is not enough to roll our eyes at liars in high places. A democracy cannot function amid lies and bullying from its senior representatives. Ross, Trump, and an epidemic of other administration officials must answer for their lies and criminal behavior to the American people, or we must get real and agree to be something other than the democratic nation we claim to be.

  21. There is no "truth" as far as this administration is concerned. There are only "likes" and "dislikes." The issue is rarely whether a particular statement or action is right or wrong, factually or morally or ethically, but who "likes" it and who doesn't. Our entire federal government has been reduced to a single principle: "Is it good for Trump?"

  22. I would love to see a NYT investigative report into the impact of the steel tariffs, another brilliant idea hatched by Ross, formerly as steel magnate. I have always suspected that somehow he was able to profit on the spike in steel prices as foreign competition was curtailed.

  23. @Asher Fried Ross was a "steel magnate" the same way that a vulture is an apex predator.

  24. I began to wonder about his steel profits again when Trump announced that “the wall” was going to be made of steel. BTW, Ross did invest heavily in steel back in 2005 right before Bush placed a tariff on it and he made his fortune thereafter so he’s done it before, he knows how it works.

  25. At the outset, you describe the administration as being defined by ethical and moral "flexibility." You should not use this phraseology, even tongue in cheek. Instead, you should be clear and unequivocal. From Day One, this administration has been contaminated throughout with rank corruption. It has been deceitful - shockingly, terrifyingly so. It has been antagonistic to our most dearly-held principles: democratic and fair elections, freedom of the press, freedom from (and of) religion, commitment to science, reason, and facts. It has used propaganda and disinformation. It has invited interference from foreign governments. It breaches practically every tenet of governmental ethics. I appreciate the dictates of nuanced writing. This is no time, however, for nuance. Ross, and every other member of Trump's administration, now and in the past, and all of their supporters in Congress, must be remembered, scorned, and their reputations tarred, for their calumny.

  26. @AM precision in language - honesty - not sugar-coated tongue in cheek works best. especially now with emojis taking over ;-)

  27. @AM Couldn't agree more. As I read that opening paragraph I thought to myself (a writer) that someone admired his style more than getting the truth out there.

  28. One of the better—and clear as crystal—assessments of this administration I’ve read in this paper. I only wish it had been “for the record” as an Op-Ed in the printed edition and not buried in the online letters section.

  29. "Loyalty is a valuable trait in an employee. But members of the Trump administration seem to have forgotten that they work for — and their loyalty lies with — the American people. They are charged with serving the public interest, not the president’s ego." The Trump administration, staff and Republicans in Congress don't care one bit about the American people. Moscow Mitch thinks providing health care to the American people is socialism. However, he is more than happy to slurp at the trough while taxpayers pay for his stellar health insurance plan.

  30. @Jacquie According to Forbes, Donald Trump won’t say it, but Republicans in the Senate will: Social Security and Medicare would be on the chopping block in a second Trump term. Pointing to rising deficits, Republican senators have all but promised to gut entitlements if Trump gets four more years. Joni Ernst is talking about it at Iowa town halls.

  31. And Congress does nothing. Way to go, elected officials! Glad to see you've got the American people's best interests at heart - NOT. How many days until election day?

  32. @Larry IMPEACH! NOW!

  33. Allow me to make two minor changes in just one sentence: "Mr. Trump is hostile to any research that does not comport with his political [or business] interests---[which are the only realities in which he has any interest]."

  34. Yes, there absolutely is a war on truth, and it started when Trump took office. But what is far worse than Trump's lies themselves is that NOAA, a governmental agency, backed down from telling the truth after receiving threats from Trump's Commerce Chief. Thus, NOAA caved in and perpetrated Trump's lies. Once we begin to fear speaking the truth, democracy is in the rear view mirror. And this is exactly where we're at. Trump may have been elected as "president" but three years on, there is no doubt that he is now a dictator. He now knows he is limited only by his imagination and the laws of physics. And as Trump instills fear, many more people will dare not cross him by doing something as benign as telling the truth. People's livelihoods are at stake. The safety of people's families is at stake. We have been very naive as a people for some time, to think that our leaders would not stoop to threaten people's well-being, or the safety of their families. Those days are long over. The fact is, anyone who speaks out against Trump may be his next victim. We now have a "leader" who rules solely by fear. He knows, three years on, that we won't challenge him. He proudly tells us he won't leave office, either after 4 or 8 years. He's counting on our silence - our fear of him. And if the past three years are any measure, he is right to do so. Think 2020 will save us? At this point, all we can do is hope that we will even have an election.

  35. Someday, there will be a Pelosi sighting and maybe a reporter will ask her why she is not holding cabinet secretaries more accountable for their actions. Like, maybe, impeaching some of them.

  36. God help us if Trump makes an arithmetic mistake. Just think of all the textbooks that will have to be changed to explain why 2 + 2 = 22 and not 4.

  37. When it comes to doing their job, those tasked with accurately depicting the forecast tracks of hurricanes do not owe any loyalty to the President or the American people. They owe loyalty to the facts - nothing more, nothing less.

  38. Well said. Ross should go, Miller should go, and finally (Speaker Pellosi, are you listening?) Trump should go. Mendacity out, facts in.

  39. @Some Dude Ross should go, Miller should go, DeVos should go, Mulvaney should go, Pompeo should go, Andrew Wheeler should go. I cannot think of an honest, qualified character in the bunch.

  40. Ross lies about his motives for including the citizenship question on the census, then threatens to fire NOAA executives for failing to support Trump's wrong characterization of hurricane predictions. Trump fires Bolton this morning and just now, as Netanyahu announces that Trump backs Israel's plans to annex the West Bank, Palestine fires rockets into Israeli cities. This administration is creating chaos everywhere and no one can trust Trump's word on anything. How much more incompetency can we risk by keeping Trump in the White House for another year? It's time for America to demand Trump's resignation while we still have a country.

  41. "But members of the Trump administration seem to have forgotten that they work for — and their loyalty lies with-the American people." No, they haven't. They work for themselves, through Trump.

  42. Unlike the Wilbur Post from "Mr. Ed" fame, who enjoyed working with a complete horse, Wilbur, the commerce secretary, has to work with someone who is more like part of a horse - and not the good part either.

  43. And don’t forget that Wilbur Ross once worked for Deutsche Bank and was fired in a money laundering scandal about Russian funds. After that he took a post with the bank of Cyprus, known as a hub of money laundering operations for Russian oligarchs. Then he was promoted to commerce secretary working for a “president“ who in civilian life sold millions upon millions of dollars worth of real estate to the same Russian oligarchs so that they could wash their cash in America's Real estate market… Remember… Always remember.

  44. @Mike The MOST salient point!

  45. I have no experience in weather forecasting, nor education policy, housing, immigration, and a lot of other stuff. Seems like I’d be perfect for a position in the Trump administration. Although, I don’t lick my boss’s boots, so maybe I don’t belong.

  46. A dangerous precedent has been set, and you have to wonder if the next time a weather event threatens, if NOAA will be afraid to act without first clearing it through the White House, and issue whatever statement Trump decides he wants issued. The price of salving one man's ego has become alarming and a clear and present danger to all of us. Ross should either resign or be fired. Threatening people for doing their jobs (despite the denial by the White House) is unconscionable. This Administration is becoming totalitarian. As this article stated, loyalty is owed the American people, not some narcissistic man-baby of a President. Ross is a public servant. Someone needs to explain that to him.

  47. Even if they did clear it through the White House, within three days #45 would have no problem going through this entire process, complete with threats of firing people for doing their jobs.

  48. The best people. Even pulled this guy from the Simpsons...

  49. Well, Trump is on a reality show called "This American President" and it just won't do when the film crew shouts out corrections to lines the lead actor delivered.

  50. It would appear that Mr. Ross must belatedly sign that fallacious note from NOAA, a government agency that until now, was held in high esteem in this country. Mr. Ross was completely aware that doctoring weather reports, especially when it comes to severe weather like hurricanes, is illegal. He was told so by the media, who told trump he shouldn’t be using a sharpie for his own nefarious purposes. Rather than heed this warning, Wilbur Ross decided to tell NOAA that heads would roll if they didn’t write a statement to tell our citizens that trump’s lie was the truth. This is a criminal act. Mr. Ross should be arrested, tried, and imprisoned, until we can do the same for trump. People shouldn’t have to sacrifice their lives because such lies supposedly support trump’s phony, political talking points.

  51. How can this man still be the Secretary of Commerce? He is accused of swindling former business partners for about $120 million. He was an official in the Bank of Cyprus, thought to be one of the conduits for shady financial operations by various nefarious, criminal parties. He has lied to Congress on at least one occasion, when he said the request to add the citizenship question to the census form was at the request of the DOJ. He is notorious for falling asleep in meetings, such that one article reports he has a small window of a few hours in mid-morning or so when he may, with herculean effort, be able to remain awake. And there is much more. He is just awful. Nowhere else but in the Trump regime would someone like this not already be in prison.

  52. @Hugh this is the kind of man trump wants...a fellow con man & criminal. they can protect each other's posteriors.

  53. @Hugh He can still be secretary of commerce because Donald Trump, a two bit Queens gangster wannabe is still the President of the United States. It's really that simple.

  54. "Among registered voters, 40 percent say they approve of Trump, while 55 percent disapprove." -Washington Post/NBC Poll Sep, 2019 That's what is wrong with this Administration with individuals like Trump and Ross, and a host of others. 40% of the voters, 60+ million approve Trump. If that doesn't change, and it shows no signs to do so, this Administration will do just as they please. And as the election gets closer next year, hard to imagine, but it will get a whole lot worse.

  55. You REAP, what you sow! It was all started by Nixon and Agnew’s attack on media, “In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club — the ‘hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.’” — Vice President Spiro Agnew, September 11, 1970.” Both turned out to be crooks! Then saint Reagan took over pontificating “government is the problem,” while he and his associates were busy with ‘Iran-Contra scandal.’ Even though Senior Bush described Reagan’s Economic policy as ‘Voodoo Economics,” he agreed to be on Reagan’s ticket as VP. Lust for power was insurmountable! Reagan’s forays into Afghanistan by arming Jihadi Taliban, Al Queda and Pakistan to get rid of Soviets, ultimately led to 9/11 in Bush-2 dynastic rule, helped by SCOTUS to take over WH. Lord Chaney, thru Baby Bush, gave us never ending Afghanistan and fake WMD asserted Iraq wars and melt down of World’s Financial system. Ultimately, all these gave us The Donald, World’s best and greatest in every dimension! In the interim periods, Democratic admin were given charge to clean up the mess produced by their predecessors. Our average electorate has no long term memory and lacks analytic capability, so marketers can sell them any thing. So what do you expect the outcome to be! It might take a few generations before we become whole again.

  56. Ross is consistent in his willingness to deceive. Remember when he was outed two years ago for inflating his personal assets by $2 billion when reporting to Forbes in order to look wealthier on their lists. From Forbes in 2017, "So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross' missing $2 billion. And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004." Perfect fit for this president.

  57. @Joe Sweeney GOP; you should be so proud of your Trump White House.Lie; cheat; steal; spread hate. But "Winning"; "Promises Made; Promises Kept". "Lock Her Up". "Send Them Back".

  58. @Joe Sweeney Of course he is a perfect fit for trump because, as many remember, trump also lied to get on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list.

  59. Why doesn’t Nancy Pelosi have articles of impeachment for Ross drafted today? He perjured himself. He threatened civil servants for doing their job to protect the public. I understand Pelosi’s reluctance to impeach Trump, but Ross? This guy is low hanging political fruit. Has there ever been a less appealing figure in Washington? Why do the Democrats continue to set records for political malpractice?

  60. @Victor James Same reason she doesn't draft articles of impeachment against Trump: there are not enough vote in the Senate to convict. When impeachment fails, the Republican will ride it to victory: "First they tried Mueller. Now this. The Democrats will stop at nothing to persecute me." The only way to get rid of these people is to vote Trump out of office. Every person has to vote.

  61. @Victor James...why stop there??how about big, bad,Barr and dirty Devin Nunez just for kicks.

  62. It's hard to keep track. Against whom is President Trump waging his several wars? The truth without doubt, but also women, immigrants, the poor, the environment, any organization including major corporations that volunteer to help protect the environment, meteorologists, science in general, China, Mexico, Canada, the EU, California, Puerto Rico, the Mayor of London, Colin Kaepernick, the House of Representatives especially the darker-skinned women representatives, fake news and yes, even John Bolton, Joe Walsh and Paul Ryan. But it's not all war all the time. President Trump reserves his warm fuzzies for Vladimir Putin , Rodrigo Duterte, Viktor Orban, Benjamin Netanyahu, Wayne LaPierre, guns, coal and other fossil fuels. As for Mike Pence, well, he's a likable enough door-stopper.

  63. @John LeBaron Apt characterizations of the trump misadministrations priorities aside from the Pence analogy; morally devoid boot scraper hews closer to the measure of the man.

  64. @John LeBaron Pence, likeable? Hardly. Just another foot soldier in the war on truth.

  65. @John LeBaron...there has been a big change in how women view trump.Better late than never and they are "nasty" when angry.

  66. Quite simply, Ross is breaking his oath to office. In a functional government he would be impeached. But, since our government is infected top to bottom, business as usual continues. I think we have all had enough of this corruption. It's time for the adults in the room, if there are any -- and lately I am even questioning Democrats convictions and courage -- but if there are any real people of character and courage left, they need to stand up with relentless conviction -- stand up for our democracy, our Constitution and the rule of law and impeach these interlopers.

  67. These people don't care about truth, ethics and morality. They live in a rarefied world of wealth and privilege. They don't have to roll around in the muck of the common man. They believe they are above all of us poor schmucks, and for us to apply our notions of honesty and morality is comical to them. They sold their souls a long time ago - and got a lot of money in return!

  68. @amhath Lying about the WEATHER forecast is the most pitiful breach of honesty yet. Look out the window.

  69. What do you suppose Wilbur was doing in Greece? Keeping a hand in on his former leadership position at the notorious money laundering operation at the Bank of Cyprus ya suppose. Won't someone rid us of this damned spot on America?

  70. To boost our exports, I suggest that we export Secretary Ross to the Bahamas to help with the rebuilding effort there.

  71. You are too circumspect- this administration is defined by ethical and moral lapses-not even lapses-they are chasms! Each appointee seems to outdo the other in bad judgement and willingness to lie and cheat for the”boss” .The nearly 82 year old Ross can be counted on to instigate trouble and then to stick with his story.He doesn’t do much else but he is blindly loyal.He does what he is told even though it reflects badly on him and In the case of NOAA actually endangers a vital source of information.Trump,and Assocs.are working only for him and for his re-election,they put country last.

  72. Well, to be fair, Ross actually threatened to fire the political appointees at NOAA, not the staff/professional weather guys. The political guys are all Trump appointees anyway. Of course, they were actually doing the Right Thing and protecting their staff. So Full marks to them. As for Ross- what else do expect?

  73. Maybe he and John Bolton could become roomies....

  74. Next up: Fox Weather Channel.

  75. @NFC, with an Armageddon Countdown Clock and Carnage on the Ones and the meteorologists will all have to wear short skirts.

  76. Ross is just one more "swamp menace" awaiting to be drained. In a typical administration, it would not be unusual in to find some high-level appointee to be unethical, even criminal. Nixon hit a high mark when his closest advisors and cabinet members were found guilty. Mitchell, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Dean, among others served time. As yet Trump's body count has not met Nixon's levels in terms of sentenced criminals, but it only awaits a new president and DOJ before charges are filed against many of the fired cabinet members, and those still in office like Ross, Chao, and Barr. Trump's presidency will set new records for criminality. At least two factors are at play here. One is Trump himself. He appoints based on loyalty without vetting for ethics and competence. The second factor is the Senate. Appointments are "subject to consent of Senate," as wisely written in the Constitution. The Senate has lost its way. It rubber stamps Trump's appointee's, except for the most outlandish. And it allows Trump to make long lived "acting" appointments in total disregard of the Constitution. As for Ross, let's see how he fares when the house calls in the NOAA officials to find out how Ross pressured NOAA. There may be one less reptile in the swamp.

  77. My oncologist told me I had cancer, so I fired him. The first responders told me my house was on fire, so I fired them. My teacher gave me an 'F' on a paper I didn't study for, so I fired her. My psychiatrist said I'm depressed, so I fired her. My mechanic said I needed a tune-up, so I fired him. Although these responses mirror the actions of the secretary, I still can't figure out who is helped by these self inflicted wounds. Certainly not those who choose to live in the real world and certainly not those who want an unbiased report about tomorrow's heat index.

  78. @Rick Gage I have a screenshot in my photo album of your JULY 18 comment about your mom " Don't lie , don't brag Rickey.. ". Impressive window on the real world. Congratulations on a life well researched. I am a cuban american that lived in south Florida - of course -until 1993 ( thank you hurricane andrew ). Having lived in Havana until age 15 ( Peter Pan exodus ), I know a bit about gaslighting. Presently, this is a horror movie where the evil thing wakes up when left for dead.

  79. @Ed, Oh good,you can be my Boswell since I haven't saved a single comment. I don't know how, technically and I don't know who might be interested. You'll be expected to speak at my funeral, of course.

  80. @Rick Gage Well, like the Cheney/bush administration, and this one, it's best if you make up your very own 'reality,' and force the rest of the Planet to catch up. After all, isn't 'life' just another teevee show? (Still looking for my remote. Has anyone seen it?!)

  81. I think the problem with all the business CEOs in government, is the pattern of behavior rewarded placating the boss. Corporations are little dictatorships, especially when the CEO is the Chairman of the Board surrounded by hand picked associates and outside Board members instructed to not rock the boat. I think this little experiment in business leaders in government has shown its true disposition and poor suitability for democratic life.

  82. Mr. Ross is just a pitiful serf of Mr. Trump who is a compulsive and vain liar and who believes that doubling down on a lie will make it true in the eyes of his blind followers. Sure, Mr. Ross has abused his power and should not be in charge of NOAA. But let's not fool ourselves: as long as Trump is President, truth has no meaning inside his administration, and Trump's word can never be trusted - not by the American people and not by the rest of the world, be it friend or foe. Unfortunately, Republicans in congress are not worried as long as they can continue stacking the courts with their surrogates and bend the rules to their partisan advantage in a way that has no historical precedent in the U.S. American voters should take heed and act decisively in the next election by throwing all consenting culprits out of office. If that does not happen, truth, justice for all, and freedom will become meaningless concepts in America.

  83. Perhaps dear leader Donald Trump and his toady apologist Wilbur Ross have been learning from fellow dear leaders Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin about how to supplant scientific truths with political interests all while keeping a straight face. I cannot recall witnessing anything quite this absurd and embarrassing. That the United States of America seems to be running much like a third-world, tin-pot dictatorship these days leaves me more depressed than I can possibly say. It's bad enough that Trump's fellow republicans are so mindlessly joining Trump's clown show but, until Pelosi and her democrats can wake up enough to expunge and punish this corrupt president, they too seem to be dangerously close to setting up shop on the midway of this circus. Unbelievable. Trump is a malignant cancer on your country and constitution and will continue to metastasize until some resolute oncologist takes up her or his scalpel and starts a radical surgery. I wish I were being hyperbolic but, sadly, I am not. The patient is on life-support now. Every day without action deepens the danger.

  84. Mr. Ross should not have been disinterred to fill his role, and it continues to be no surprise that he offends every sensibility in being propped-up all over creation. Please, place this shuffling, groaning moral abomination back into his just repose, and well out of public sight.

  85. Ross and Barr both need to go. It is quite clear that their loyalty is to Trump, not to the taxpaying citizens of the United States. Both are a disgrace to our government.

  86. Start with nailing him for lying to Congress and finish by showing him the exit. I'll be happy to pay his, as well as Trump's, one-way banana-class fare to Guantanamo. Oh yes, and be sure to track ALL of his investments during this fake administration. I would bet dollars to donuts that he played the Markets and anything else he could get his hands on after knowing what Trump was going to say to influence it with his disgusting Tweets.

  87. The pathology of all this lying may be a fatal disease for our country that only impeachment or the next election can cure. Trump has a seemingly unlimited supply of people like Wilbur Ross constantly infecting our democracy.

  88. Polls of presidential historians in 2018 showed Trump ranked either at the bottom, or two spots away: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_presidents_of_the_United_States I believe I finally see a long term strategy: to permanently lock in his standing as Worst President Ever. Looks like a slam dunk to me. I just hope there are enough adults left, like the National Weather Service staff described here, who can keep Trump away from the nuclear codes until Jan. 2021.

  89. Can the bar go any lower than forcing NOAA to lie about the weather? This is not normal. This is bordering on insanity. The man who currently holds the title of President should be in prison on a so called 5150. . . . "a danger to oneself to and to others."

  90. I am curious about Ross' role as head of that bank in Cyprus. Russian money laundering? Manofort or Kushner or Trump connections? In his tenure as head of Commerce, lying and bullying, misinformation and personal corruption are the norm. Drain the swamp on November 3rd with a blue wave.

  91. Maybe the National Weather Service can predict the U.S. population?

  92. Those who work for Trump are as morally lacking as he is.

  93. Morals were never Wilbur's strength since he cheated his partners too. This was essentially par for the course for him

  94. In any "normal" government or public/private sector company - Wilbur Ross would be TERMINATED for cause and escorted out the door immediately. As nothing is "normal" with Crazy Trump and his minions.... I expect Wilbur to be promoted to National Security Advisor next week.. or possibly the next lying Press Secretary. Frankly , what good is it to make government officials take the oath of office to uphold and protect the US Constitution and rule of law -- but NEVER hold them accountable for when they break their oath or the law? Congress must investigate and Justice Dept must support this investigation.

  95. In a sane world, Trump would have tweeted that he had been wrong about Alabama or, at the least, just moved on, but that seems to be a bridge too far for him. Triggering Ross to put pressure on NOAA is just Trump despatching a stooge. Yes, Sharpie-Gate is an absurd product of mixing ignorance with arrogance and could be dismissed as just another example of "Trump being Trump." But Trump is not some guy at the end of the bar nursing his drink and his grudges. He is America's president who makes life and death decisions about war, the economy and America's reputation. There is no reason to expect Trump is any different in making decisions in these matters as he has shown himself to be here. November 2020 can't come soon enough.

  96. Mr. Ross lied to Congress twice. Once regarding his multiple contact with Russians during the campaign and once regarding the census question. How much perjury is too much?

  97. Answer: no amount of perjury is too much when it comes to Republican sycophants of the Clown.

  98. When it comes to "Sharpie-gate," we've learned two very important truths. First, we have a President whose narcissism disorder (yes, it's a real diagnosis, formerly megalomania, according the the American Psychiatric Association) always needs and demands adulation and praise.  That means he's always right and never wrong since that would result in criticism and condemnation.  Hence second, Donald Trump insists on surrounding himself with those who will not only always agree with him, but go one step further in eliminating or silencing anyone who dares to contradict him. So, enter willing Wilbur Ross just as unwilling John Bolton gets the Trump signature tweet-in-the-back, "You're fired!" Ross, of course acquiesced, as others notably Jim Comey and Don McGahn wouldn't, in threatening to fire the NOAA truth-tellers. The lesson of "Sharpie-gate" should be that this mental illness accounts for Donald Trump's bizarre and obviously, unstable and dangerous behavior.  And, that he will always find willing henchmen to carry out his orders to rid of those who stand up for "the rule of law" and their dedication to the American people rather than the ruthless "rule of Trump."

  99. One of these days, it will be indisputable that Trump has rarely stated the truth. When that happens, all of his supporters will be exposed as the willing, nay, eager, accomplices that they are.

  100. @Jeff The sad thing is most of them know he is lying and are proud of him for doing as long as he is stabbing the rest of us. They love his hate, it is their hate and they do not care if the US goes down in flames because they feel so hopeless and have for 40 years since losing the Dems to corruption. At last they feel empowered

  101. @Jeff His supporters are already aware they are willing and eager to look the other way. They're proud of it. Whether racist, greedy or just enjoying the show they know and we know deception is the rule not the exception.

  102. You state: "Mr. Trump is hostile to any research that does not comport with his political interests". This overestimates the President. He has no sense of political interests, other than his own personal interests - his ego and his wealth (sadly, interchangeable). Any "political" concerns are secondary, in service of these other priorities.

  103. To say nothing about lying about his wealth again and again on CNBC. To say nothing about denying that a recession was possible just before the big one. What’s next? His age?

  104. Did I miss the articles were the Democrats are jumping all over Ross? Pelosi are you still on vacation? Ross along with any other associate of Trump (which is the entire GOP) should be unemployed, not to mean they ever did do an honest days work while employed.

  105. @Hal Yeah where is Nancy and her crew right now? Oh wait they want to slooowly investigate if in fact Wilber did order NOAA people to lie for Donald or that Trump was even wrong in the first place. And my guess is that the NOAA employees will be charged rather than Ross or Trump if it ever gets that far. Nancy will never do anything because she is so tough and savey. Bets on she will support the same kind of candidate who lost to Trump last time. Lest we forget both parties have much the same donors and the corrupt Dems still get paid off for losing. It is no loss to them as long a the big checks clear, you see they have modeled themselves like corporations, the bottom line is enriching themselves, not the rest of us. Vote for the candidates who will not take bribes, only two exist as far as I can see. But oh the fun of watching the rest sweat and deflect and try to look like they will serve the people while jerking on the strings from their owners. A puppet dance.

  106. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Sir Walter Scott 1808 Seems like the Trump administration has had a lot of practice with the deceive part... now if only the web would tighten.

  107. "They are charged with serving the public interest, not the president’s ego." And on what planet would Trump ever put anyone but himself first. Valuing loyalty above all else is a recipe for failure, but Trump cannot see the forrest through the trees.

  108. He did not deceive Congress, He lied to Congress.

  109. @magicisnotreal Exactly said! Congress did not believe the lie and so was not deceived

  110. @magicisnotreal ...and everyone else. It's a shame that he is unable to remember what he did five minutes ago. Why do we have a senile, malevolent, greedy, narcissistic, arrogant, incompetent Commerce Secretary? Perhaps because no legitimate candidates would apply and he auditioned for the job; and PAYBACK!

  111. @magicisnotreal Yes @NYTimes, please use lie when it is the correct word.

  112. "The threat was an abuse of authority aimed at misleading the public to provide cover for the president." The reason Trump is so concerned is because he can't pull an Insurance scam if the misinformation he intended to use to justify the false claims I suspect he plans on making is proven to be misinformation. It is also one more step in grooming the population to accept this sort of unacceptable behavior by people we are paying a lot of money to do much better work.

  113. This is a very important story. And it is important for the media and the public to keep scrutinizing it. But now Trump has distracted us with another shiny object, the firing of Bolton. It is becoming impossible to keep scrutinizing the unprecedented number of illegal/unethical/incompetent actions taken by this administration. Just last week, we have the Dorian/Alabama debacle, the Taliban at Camp David, the Air Force refueling at a non-base and staying at Trump's resort, etc. I am exhausted.

  114. @SYJ You are correct that this is an important story and should be investigated by a congressional committee.

  115. Certainly this story but even more important is the Turnberry Resort & the Air Force story!

  116. I continue to be astonished that there is a subset of the population who believes that it's OK to lie as long as you're sticking it to the scientific elites. Or is that they don't understand that they are getting lied to? I'm not sure which is worse ...

  117. The unhappy truth is that “We, the People,” elected Donald Trump as president of the United States. It does not matter that his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton, defeated him by almost 3-million votes head-to-head. The Electoral College, flawed as it always was, confirmed Trump’s victory. Wilbur Ross and the awfully sorry train of Cabinet secretaries were specifically chosen by the president for their appointments because of their groveling obsequiousness and their uncritical willingness to place their president’s pleasure above and beyond the public good, which was once the essence of government service. No more. No president has ever escaped the bitterness of a very public and very personal defeat for policy decisions (Barack Obama in his first mid-terms in 2010) or for reasons of an embarrassing personal nature (Bill Clinton). But presidents can overcome setbacks and become better stewards of a unique and precious public trust and shoulder on. In the case of the current president, one cannot imagine that Donald Trump can rise above the self-created calamities for which his tenure has been richly dotted. His unsparing pettiness has extended to every governmental department. He would become the autocratic tyrant if he and Republicans in the Senate had the final say. And make no mistake; the day will soon arrive when the transparently compromised Supreme Court will be publicly rebuked for a decision that angers the president. On that day, the end will be in sight.

  118. "The White House has denied..." That disclaimer alone should be enough to confirm what actually happened... as if it isn't already clear enough to any American who has their eyes and ears open and working.

  119. Wilbur Ross's association with a major Cypress bank known for money laundering makes me question his integrity, especially since the Trump organization is associated with the sale of large numbers of condominiums to shell organizations, many of which represent Russian and underworld money. And then there is Deutsche Bank (Trump's bank), and the Estonian branch that passes money 25X the GDP of Estonia.

  120. @bullone Visas are also for sale... along with the real estate. The real estate peope generally have super tax preferred status meaning there are ways to pay none... as has been outlined. So far as lying about the weather-- whoops senility creeping in on the part of Trump -- on the part of the persons in the National Weather Bureau -- were threats made? from above -- as in someone's head's gonna roll?? It's all diversion from the real task which is to bleed the public at large dry. (I have suspected various Mafia tactics in place for a long, long, long time.

  121. He is not putting politics in front of science. Instead, he is putting his own self interests in front of science. His guiding light is not the city on the hill - it’s the red light on the camera.

  122. @Jane III And YET he defeated your candidate in his first serious run for public office. He defeated her overwhelming surplus of cash plus the whole-hearted support of 90% of the news media repoters and editors. Whatever Hillary's guiding light was, it never filled the seats in small gyms like Trump filled the largest arenas available.

  123. He also continues to defeat what I consider to be fair, reasonable, just, logical, healthy, productive, sensible, balanced, rational, and practical, too. As by design, to be sure.

  124. Actually, her rallies were full, too. Maybe she should have threatened more people at them and gotten her audience mob to then beat them up. Maybe that would have gotten her the sliver of 90,000 voters in MN, WI and MI needed to win? We’ll never know. Maybe the red light knows. Oh, and she got 3 million more votes, too. That, my friend, is called a squeaker, not a mandate.

  125. While there isn’t a surefire way to measure corruption in the nation, there are data and individuals like Wilbur Ross that can be used to rank how corrupt the country has become.

  126. History repeats itself - as tragedy and then as farce. Back in Comrade Stalin's day, you'd get written out of history for displeasing Stalin. They USSR put some effort into modifying pictures and movies to cut you out. This was comprehensive and tragic. When I saw that chart, and the black marker "modifying" the cone of uncertainty, I've gotta say ... I couldn't stop laughing for the next forty-five minutes.

  127. Well, with climate-change Republicans in full effect, is it really such a leap for them to go from "The weather isn't changing over time!" to "The weather *right now* is not as you see it!". Abuse of power comes as no surprise with these people.

  128. @michael I accidentally lost the word "-denying" after climate change. But you get the idea!

  129. First there was the fake news. Now we have the fake weather. Maybe when we get to fake sports the Jets will finally win another Super Bowl.

  130. @walt amses Or the Saints will be the recipients of accurate calls by the refereeing staff-oh wait, they might be politicized also! Remember, Trump wanted to be a football team owner!

  131. A little frightening to have our professional weather people treated this way . We’ve all read about how the intellectuals were treated in history by authorities that had the power to do so. Or just another distraction? What’s really going on ?

  132. At what point will we declare unequivocally what has been patently obvious about this Administration? We have on view the least ethical group of sycophants in history whose collective obsequiousness break laws and heap scorn on established protocols. Too tiresome is it to continue our hand-wringing disbelief with each transgression committed by Trump and his yes-men and yes-women. Even the Department of Justice no longer has the luster of integrity. The clear and present danger is imminent loss of our democracy if a full stop is not soon declared.

  133. Hand it to Trump and his crew. The mass shootings of two weeks ago have been relegated to an afterthought by the media. Already we have seen out attention deflected to weather maps and the latest firings. He gives us a new episode of his world every day. How sad and despicable.

  134. Straightoutta Michael Lewis's book The Fifth Risk. Read it!

  135. Here is what really scares me come November 2020: Trump loses the close election and then claims voter fraud!! Then in step the Supremes. It may all be lies but he will manipulate to make himself appear the winner!

  136. Ethical and moral flexibility? Unethical and amoral. And Trump's cult does not care.

  137. The real problem is that when Trump requires Ross's help, he doesn't give him enough time to fully waken from his coma, hence the embarrassing gaffes. Let him move around a bit Mr. President before sending him on an errand.

  138. Tolstoy said, 'Behind every fortune is a crime." I think about that every day with trump and ross and all in their circle. The only good thing about their time in government is that major media with courage and journalistic integrity will continue to shine a bright, clear light on their crimes, lies and greed. It's times like these I go back to Dickens, too...yes, many suffer deeply and for a long time but good eventually wins over corruption and evil...we can always hope.

  139. @Michele Farley - Wasn't it Balzac who said that?

  140. When politics takes precedence over science the outcomes will be predictably poor.

  141. "Members of the Trump administration seem to have forgotten that they work for — and their loyalty lies with — the American people. They are charged with serving the public interest, not the president’s ego." So quaint that the NY Times' Editorial Board suggests that the Administration has simply "forgotten" for whom they work and with whom their loyalty lies. To suggest that anyone that remains in this Administration cares one bit about this notion of service to the American public is, at best, willfully naive, or, at worst, just as deceitful as Sharpie-gate and its fallout. Each and every one of those pathetic cronies is there to serve only to enrich themselves and their buddies. That much has been obvious since the earliest days of this administration. Ross just may be the worst of them. But all are shameless and unapologetic and should find themselves in federal penitentiary for the harm they've done to a once great nation.

  142. "Loyalty is a valuable trait in an employee. But members of the Trump administration seem to have forgotten that they work for — and their loyalty lies with — the American people. They are charged with serving the public interest, not the president’s ego." - Well said. Unfortunately, none of them (including and especially Wilbur Ross) appear to have gotten the memo. "His administration has time and again suppressed and censored data that it finds inconvenient, prompting government scientists to lodge complaints or resign in protest. Studies have been derailed, scientists reassigned and advisory panels disbanded." - I am an American citizen and have lived in this country for 61 years of my life. This is the first time I have ever seen an American president, and indeed an entire political party, declare all out war on the truth. Back in 2016, which now seems like a lifetime ago, facts mattered. We could debate the facts and what was true, but in the end, if something was proven true it was accepted as fact by both sides. To this president, however, the truth is like Play-do, a malleable blob which he can mold into any shape he likes. If you don't like the weather you no longer have to wait five minutes, you can just reach for a sharpie. Beyond sad. Pathetic. And it will be our undoing if we allow it to continue.

  143. Drain the swamp?- isn't this feed and cultivate the swamp? My how Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater must be turning over in their respective graves here. What would they think- they certainty would not recognize this or align with today's Republican party.

  144. @Bernard - Reagan had no problem lying.

  145. The more a person lies, especially for trump, the more trump favours and praises them. Honest people do not last long in the trump administration.

  146. These outrageous, depressing, frightening news stories that become public knowledge each day disturb me almost as much as my thoughts about the more outrageous, depressing, and frightening happenings we don't yet know about.

  147. I never thought I'd think this about the United States, let alone say it. This nation is totally out of control. But I state the obvious. What do people do when things become totally politically unstable? Hunker down. What do small businesses do? Hunker down. Corporations? Hunker down. This is going to end very, very badly. And like the Perdue family I'm hoping we take all the money they've stolen back.

  148. Instead of fantasizing about impeaching President Trump (which at best would energize his supporters and enable Trump, yet again, to play the victim; and at worst saddle us with President Pence until 2029), I don't see why the Democrats don't impeach Wilbur Ross. Surely the Republicans, who twenty years ago were so insistent that lying under oath warranted removal from office, and couldn't possibly have been motivated by partisanship, would concur.

  149. @Fred We can still impeach to gain access to records. We know going in that he will never be removed from office. If we don't impeach, then he will keep pushing the envelope.

  150. @Fred The base is already energized and engaged. So much so that the ongoing actions of its patron saint and his conspiring minions will only repel undecided voters. Impeachment proceedings are the very least we can do to at least let history know that there was an acknowledgment of such abominable behavior by the President of the United States.

  151. @Fred Trump plays victim every day and his supporters are already energized and fervent, giving him unprecedented (80-90%) approval ratings.

  152. When something like the weather becomes politicized and a matter of opinion, is it any wonder science and global warming are irrelevant under the Trump administration ? Can we still agree that the sky is blue ? And let’s not just point to Trump - he has millions of enablers who voted him in and keep supporting him, throwing reality and facts to the wind

  153. Dear NOAA, Thank you for the clear willingness to stand up to alternative facts. All of you. The National Weather Service is underfunded and under appreciated, and more and more necessary every day. Y'all are my heroes.

  154. It's shocking to me that none of this matters to anybody. He can break laws, he can out and out lie. There are no charges filed, no prosecutions (or even threats of prosecution) and nobody of any worth (the world over, apparently) gives any credence to what the members of this administration say.

  155. Mother Nature doesn't lie.

  156. When the NOAA website was down for a few minutes yesterday morning, the first thing I thought about was Donald Trump and Wilbur Ross because there was no way to underestimate their capacity to punish anyone (or anything) that has the temerity to contradict them. These are the times we're living in, People. VOTE!

  157. It is hard to imagine continuing to support an administration that actively suppresses truth, in service to the vanity of a president, who has shown himself to be increasingly unfit for office. It is time for whoever might wish to pass for "principled" members of the GOP to dissociate themselves from these people, and realize impeachment is necessary to protect the political norms that allow our democracy to function...assuming they are unwilling to invoke the 25th Amendment.

  158. This guy gives a black eye to businessmen and women everywhere. He is as bad as the worst politicians. Is he an anomaly (excepting Trump, ofcourse), or is this considered standard behavior in the C-suites across the country?

  159. @Charles Pape: You live in the US, where corporate malfeasance has caused massive suffering for tens of millions of ordinary Americans, in the form of - downsizing and outsourcing - wage stagnation - massive corporate welfare - a lousy tax code that's skewed to substantially favor the rich - opposition to universal healthcare - the destruction of unions and all the worker protections they provide - the exploitation of any loophole to circumvent environmental protections - the spread, and massive funding of, climate-change-denialism - the electing of pols who are pro-biz and anti-worker / anti-environment - the electing of pols who have shifted the SCOTUS rightward such that corps are now "people," with regard to campaign donations - the rise of dark money in politics yet you're asking whether Ross is an anomaly?

  160. @Charles Pape I suspect it's quite common though not universal.

  161. More common than you might think in the c-suite! Ten lies before breakfast, puffery, cover-ups on top of cover-ups, loyalty over competence, the sycophants, the undiagnosed personality disorders... these are but a few of many reasons why I’m happy to be out of the corporate world!

  162. I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature. Paulo Coelho

  163. After this incident, it is not clear that we can rely on any information issued by Ross's Department of Commerce. Maybe the discrepancies between the monthly jobs reports in 2018 and the actual number of jobs created was not innocent after all. Maybe Ross pressured the Bureau of Labor Statistics to inflate the monthly numbers.

  164. What a weasel is Wilbur Ross, competing with Trump to see who is more consistent in the lying, and deceiving the people's trust. Disgraceful and dangerous, Trumpian to the core.

  165. Back in the U.S.S.R.

  166. Loyalty might be a valuable trait in an employee, but being a lying, manipulative, bully toad is not.

  167. Ross is just another toady in the swamp. Time for him to spend much more time with his family is coming up soon. I doubt if they are proud of him or want him at home, but WE certainly do not need to be stuck any longer with such a Trump sycophant. He is just nauseating. November 2021 is always accelerating towards us.

  168. Whether (or is it weather) the boss must be pleased or not, Wilbur Ross is a mean-spirited liar who will be remembered in history as such. He can't run away from his past.

  169. @Nate Grey Ross, or Trump for that matter, could care less. They are getting theirs.

  170. @Walter Ingram Agree. But other people care and the truth will prevail, either now or later.

  171. What a pitiful little man. I mean, a shell of a man. Pompeo is equally hollow, has no integrity, and has allowed his religious beliefs to corrupt his Constitutional duties of office.

  172. Neil Jacobs should speak truth to power, then resign. Wilber is a sick joke.

  173. @Diane Political Appointees should not be part of any scientific organizations. Nothing to see here, folks!

  174. also lied to Scotus..What is he doing in Greece? is his family sporting on Mykonos at government expense? Or perhaps there is a Trump hotel on Greece, so he can line Trumps pockets while Trump lines his.. Come on Nancy Pelosi it is way past time, and I hope you haven't run out of time - IMPEACH!

  175. Mr. Ross is fluent in Trumpspeak, the linguistic successor to Newspeak . . .

  176. In response to the Sharpie controversy, the NOAA released a statement that said: “From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama. This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed at the following link. The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.” Only true conspiracy nuts would believe the New York Time's assertion that the NOAA and National Hurricane Center fabricated a false response and and fake animated weather map. Someone—perhaps Trump himself—used a Sharpie to make a printout of an animated whether map show the same thing as the animated map on the National Hurricane Center website. The animated map shows Dorian crossing the Florida Panhandle and brushing Alabama before turning northeast. That the author would refer to the Sharpie innocent as cause for impeachment indicates how weak the case for impeachment really is. You can view the animated map, which displays dates at the top, at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2019/DORIAN_graphics.php?product=wind_probs_34_F120

  177. @William Case No one asserted any such thing. When Trump made his claim about Alabama his information was out of date by days. Given the fact that Trump claimed to be receiving updates every two hours while he played golf he should have known that Alabama was no longer in danger as he claimed. Now, this may have been an honest error on Trump's part. What was not honest is Trump's efforts after the fact. I have to wonder, are you aware that your argument defending Trump is wrong? This is a sincere question.

  178. @William Case This initial information was quickly updated but Trump who doesn't pay attention to reports ran with the very first graphs and refused to just clarify his error.

  179. @Max Deitenbeck No it wasn't. He tweeted the forecast on Sept. 1. NOAA said the it was forecasting Alabama might be impacted from Aug. 28 through Sept 2.

  180. Dear Wilbur, There is no higher authority than truth.

  181. Ross's Behavior makes one think he's lied many times through his life. Who else has Ross burned in business and life?

  182. I seem to remember from the story of the Galveston Hurricane (Issac's Storm), that the tragedy of many lives lost was partly due to a weather forecaster who wasn't honest about the threat. This is real life, folks.

  183. I understand that Wilber Ross was in Greece during the close call of hurricane Dorian. Was he on official government business? If so I am sure that the federal government will pick up all his expenses. I know from following this investor that he held a very large stake in a Greece bank. I wonder if he was there on non government business. In that case he would not be charging the government for his expenses. Does any know what he was doing in Greece?

  184. Wilbur Ross seems to think that he works for Trump rather than for the people of the United States. He should reflect upon what supporting and defending the Constitution really means. Trump is not the sovereign, he represents the sovereign, the people. His oath of office is to the Constitution, not to himself. Ross acts as if he is a minister to a king.

  185. I have to believe that while Mr. Ross commerces with the truth Mr. Barr, who sells out justice, is more compromised. It may be a fool's errand, however, to nominate any one of the many compromised members of the Trump team as the superlative of corruption. Obviously the boss takes the cake.

  186. This is just not unconscionable. It is unreasonable. It is inane. It is as low as it goes to taking us into the pit of disinformation that "1984" warned us about. 2+2=5. We must fight back. VOTE in 2020.

  187. So ALL Commerce Dept data points must be distrusted as they may be lies... Hearing this Wall Street? Trump hasn’t just destroyed our democracy, but he’s taking Wall Street down with him...

  188. Trump and Ross did not just double down on bad information - they did not just mislead the public - they lied, for personal gain, and endangered people's lives and livelihoods. That should be some kind of felony.

  189. @common sense advocate, it's a federal crime to alter/falsify a weather map.

  190. @Mountain Lover - thanks!!