Officials at the State Department are concerned over the Trump transition team’s request for all information related to “gender-related staffing, programming and funding,” the Washington Post reported Thursday.
According to the Post, State Department leadership complied with the request because Trump’s team did not ask directly for the names of the officials who work on women’s issues programming. A copy of the request obtained by the newspaper asked instead for information on all programs and activities that “promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”, as well as the “positions whose primary functions are to promote such issues.”
Given the President-elect’s lack of focus on policies affecting women during the campaign and stated promise to end all federal funding for Planned Parenthood in the U.S., officials fear that the request signals a plan to reduce funding to these international programs.
Asked about women’s issues during a post-election phone call with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Trump handed the phone to his daughter Ivanka.
“It’s not clear to us what the intent is behind this request,” one senior State Department official told the Post. “The Trump team could be looking to advance gender issues and make it a priority — or you could look at it as a witch hunt.”
A similar shudder went through the Energy Department earlier this month when Trump’s team asked for the names of all department officials who worked on the Paris climate change accords.
The Energy Department rejected the request, which a spokesman said “left many in our workforce unsettled.” The Trump transition team later said the request was not authorized or part of its standard protocol
The President-elect has claimed that most climate change is “bunk” and nominated an Environmental Protection Agency leader who also rejects mainstream climate science.