In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Senator Mazie Hirono spoke out against the Trump administration allegedly doctoring a map to show that Alabama was potentially in the pathway of Hurricane Dorian.
“How can you trust anything that comes out of this White House?” Hirono said. “Because you have a president who lies every single day. And on something like this? This is serious business when you’re predicting that a state might get hit by a very big hurricane. This is not any time to be fooling around.
“It could have ended if the president said ‘whoops’ and they move on, but no, they create this entire drama around trying to make the president look good. This is par for the course for this administration.”
“And by the way,” Hirono added, “[Director of the Office of Management and Budget John] Mulvaney, who I think is at the heart of a lot of this, is very much oriented toward protecting the president, being a yes-person to the president at every turn. Mulvaney is the same guy who, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began to move some of their researchers and scientists to the west coast where they don’t want to be, said ‘This is a really good way to get some of them to retire, which is a good thing.’ No, it is not a good thing when the scientists and the people who are actually doing the fundamental work of these departments retire because of this kind of shenanigans. That’s when I called on Mulvaney to resign, and I renew my call for him to resign.”
Senator Hirono has called for Department of the Interior Inspector General Mary Kendall to investigate any potential political interference in scientific research or communications at the Department.
“I want the inspector general to tell us whether or not there was undue political influence, or whether these kinds of actions were politically driven, as opposed to something that’s fact-based. I would say that the conclusion is pretty clear, but when you start threatening people with being fired if they don’t do what [U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur] Ross wants, then you create a situation where you need to get to the bottom of it.”
Hirono added: “Hawaii has been hit by hurricanes before. We had a huge one in 1992, Hurricane Iniki, and we’re still recovering from some of that. So this is serious business when you start changing maps to indicate that a hurricane is going to hit a state.”