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Critics Worry Trump Will Change Government Data

Critics Worry Trump Will Change Government Data

Donald Trump (Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 16 December 2016 06:42 AM

There is growing worry that President-elect Donald Trump's administration will alter or wipe government data, including climate numbers, according to a new report.

FiveThirtyEight chronicles critics' beliefs that Trump's cabinet could potentially change figures in the government's vast databases. Raising suspicions are Trump's insistence that global warming may not be real. Gary Cohn, his pick to serve as director of the National Economic Council, said the unemployment rate is a "very, very fictitious rate."

And while it's unlikely Trump's team will change or purge government data on a massive scale, one expert told FiveThirtyEight there could be some secrecy behind closed door — an argument with roots in Trump's refusal to make his tax returns public.

"What that tells us is that unless there's a statutory requirement, there are norms that can be bucked," Sunlight Foundation senior analyst Alex Howard told the website. The Sunlight Foundation is a government watchdog.

In lieu of changing data, critics say Trump could slash some government agencies' budgets — which he's already promised to do under the penny plan, an economic approach that would cut certain agencies' budgets by one penny for every dollar spent each year.

"All the agencies would have haircuts, and there's a point at which you have no hair left and you're starting to cut into the bone," Ken Poole of the Association of Public Data Users told FiveThirtyEight.

A report this week claimed that scientists are indeed worried about the preservation of climate data — which has been altered in recent years and now shows a warming trend. There is an ongoing effort to make backup copies of data ahead of Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration.

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There is growing worry that President-elect Donald Trump's administration will alter or wipe government data, including climate numbers, according to a new report.
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2016-42-16
Friday, 16 December 2016 06:42 AM
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