Trump Team Asked State Department for Info On Women’s Issues Programs, Sparking Fears Of Another Witch Hunt

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The Trump transition team instructed the State Department to turn over all information Wednesday about “gender-related staffing, programming, and funding,” setting off alarm bells among those who fear that the new administration is going to purge programs that promote women’s equality along with the people who work on them.

Only a week after being embroiled in a controversy over collecting information on Energy Department climate change officials, the Trump team seems to be at it again. On Wednesday morning, the State Department leadership sent out what’s called a “Flash Transition Tasker” to a long list of offices and bureaus. This official request mandated that all State Department offices provide to the Trump team by 5 p.m. Wednesday full reports on the positions and programs at the State Department dedicated to promoting a range of women’s and gender issues around the world.

I obtained a copy of the State Department request, which said each office should include information on all existing programs and activities that “promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”

The request did not ask directly for the names of the officials who work on these programs but stated that, in their reports, each office “should note positions whose primary functions are to promote such issues.”

Last week, a member of the Trump transition sent a questionnaire to the Energy Department asking for the names of all department officials who worked on the Paris climate change accords. The Energy Department refused to provide the names. The transition team said later that the questionnaire was not sanctioned by the transition leadership and was not standard protocol.

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