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Trump is proposing cutting 248 weather forecasters from tornado alley — and red-state Oklahoma is freaking out

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Oklahoma voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump and now the Republican leader is hitting back against his most loyal supporters, KFOR news reported.

In his budget, Trump has proposed gutting the National Weather Service in an area of the country that depends on forecasters and meteorologists to protect them from extreme weather events. Norman, Oklahoma is the location of one of

“For some bizarre reason, the president is proposing to cut 248 forecasters,” National Weather Service Legislative Director Richard Hirn told KFOR.

“Should the public be concerned about these potential staff cuts? I think the answer is yes because – even though you see things coming down the pipe for days, sometimes weeks in advance – even those last few minutes or hours can make a huge difference on the outcome as to what type of severe weather in this particular case that we may receive,” KFOR meteorologist Mike Morgan explained.

The NWS could lose more than 350 staffers, the vast majority of which would be forecasters.

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“The Trump administration has proposed to effectively eliminate 20 percent of the forecasters or front-line operational employees at the 122 forecast offices around the country,” Hirn said.

Hirn warned it could mean closing the NWS in Norman during nights and on weekends. Many of the state’s worst tornadoes have been late in the afternoon and a powerful storm doesn’t check the calendar to see whether it’s Monday through Friday.

“That office would be closed in the evening and another office, maybe in Tulsa or in Texas, will be responsible for issuing the warnings,” Hirn said.

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Weather warnings aren’t the only concern, the National Weather Service data is used by airports to determine safety for takeoff and landing of planes.

“It would be fair to say I think, if there was any delay of information regarding weather really when it’s inclement weather, that that could have an impact on our operations and our traveling public,” Will Rogers Airport Spokesperson Karen Carney said.

Since the first EF5 tornado to hit Moore, Oklahoma May 3, 1999, Oklahoma has had six EF5 tornadoes. Since the 1999 outbreak, Oklahoma has had 1,193 tornadoes and 3,739 since 1950. The National Weather Service might be headquartered in Oklahoma, but it also helps other satellite locations with forecasting in neighboring red states. That includes Kansas, which suffered from a severe EF5 tornado that wiped Greensburg off the map in 2007. Missouri similarly had a major EF5 tornado that hit Joplin in 2011.

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In 2013, the NWS got a boost to their budget so that they could improve computing power needed to make quicker forecasts and save more lives.

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Hope Hicks may have lied under oath that she wasn’t present when Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy Daniels

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Newly unsealed documents in the campaign finance case where Michael Cohen pleaded guilty may provide evidence that Hope Hicks lied to Congress under oath.

According to the court documents, President Donald Trump, Hope Hicks and Cohen were all in communication about the hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Not only did Hicks discuss the payments with both men, she exchanged text messages and emails on the topic.

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Anti-vaxxer threatened to kill Democratic congresswoman over vaccine bill: report

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A Pentagon contractor has been charged with threatening to kill a U.S. Congresswoman over a bill that would require all public schools receiving federal funds to ensure all children are vaccinated.

The Daily Beast reports the court filing does not name the lawmaker, but they have determined it is Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). It says Darryl Albert Varnum of Westminster, Maryland is the person named in the criminal complaint filed in federal court.

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2020 Election

White House aides fear Trump believes House vote against impeachment means it’s never going to happen: report

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A proposal to start impeachment hearings that failed in the House on Wednesday led Donald Trump to optimistically proclaim that his presidency is safe at his North Carolina rally last night. But his proclamation has some White House officials worried the president really believes he is out of the woods.

According to a report at Politico, close aides to the president worry that his comment that "we have all this [impeachment] behind us," may be based on an unfounded notion by Trump about how Congress works.

Speaking at his campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., Trump boasted to the crowd, "I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in: the resolution -- how stupid is that -- on impeachment. I want to thank those Democrats because many of them voted for us, the vote was a totally lopsided 332-95-1.”

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