President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has instructed the U.S. State Department to turn over a list of workers who focus on gender equality and ending violence against women.
The request comes a week after an eerily similar request for the Energy Department to list employees who work on climate change.
In a brief email that was sent Wednesday morning, the Trump team asked the State Department’s bureaus and offices to list any programs or activities that “promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc,” reports NPR.
The New York Times, which acquired the email, reports:
The Trump team has also asked the department to “note positions whose primary functions are to promote such issues” and to highlight any funds for the current financial year that are “already allocated to such programs and activities.”
The Los Angeles Times quotes a senior State Department official who said, “People are freaked out.”
Shortly after the transition team’s email became public, the Twitter account of the State Department’s Political-Military Affairs bureau posted a note of support for the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, & Security — a program that was celebrated in a State Department tweet Wednesday, as the agency marked five years since the plan was introduced by President Obama.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement in response to the Trump team’s memo, saying in part:
As NPR’s Brakkton Booker has reported, the Trump team’s 74-point questionnaire on climate change “raised fears among civil rights lawyers specializing in federal worker whistleblower protections, who say the incoming administration is at a minimum trying to influence or limit the research.”
In refusing the Trump team’s request, the Energy Department said many of its staff members were “unsettled” by the gesture, stating that while it would share any information that was already public, it would not produce a list of individual names.