From the Morning Memo:

Rep. Paul Tonko called on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to step down after reportedly threatening officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The threats to fire top officials at the agency after the National Weather Service’s Alabama office contradicted a tweet by President Donald Trump over the direction of Hurricane Dorian.

Trump said the hurricane threatened Alabama; NOAA’s Alabama office said it would not. Trump was basing his warning off a previous weather map, and has since defended his public warning about the danger posed to the state.

Ross’s warning led to NOAA’s headquarters issuing an unusual statement disavowing the National Weather Service’s assertion Alabama was not at risk.

Tonko, in his statement, said the reversals and threats put the public at risk.

“This kind of political directive puts government scientists in the impossible position of having to decide between risking their jobs and careers to do the right thing—ensuring the public, local leaders, first responders and other emergency managers are getting reliable data and information—or doing what they are told by political leadership and allowing false and potentially dangerous information to spread,” he said.

A Democrat who represents the Capital Region, it’s not clear what congressional lawmakers will do to address the story, but Tonko pledged to “continue to hold political leaders accountable” for abusing the political trust.

“This Administration has never hesitated to distort, suppress and even attack science outright to advance their political agenda, but this is one of the first times they’re doing it so publicly, without shame or apology. Under any other Administration, knowingly misleading the American people and endangering communities would be a major scandal,” Tonko said in the statement.

“For the current Administration, this kind of reckless abuse of science and the truth has become business as usual. Reporting now suggests that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross put the safety of countless Americans at risk by compromising America’s hurricane warning system just to protect the President’s ego. If these reports are true, Secretary Ross needs to take responsibility and resign.”