In what seems to be becoming a bit of a worrisome pattern, Donald Trump’s transition team is now demanding information from the State Department on “gender-related programs” meant to aid women around the world. It’s tough to imagine that they’re asking because they want to know how they can help.
You will recall that at the beginning of the month, the transition team wanted information from the Energy Department on everyone who’d worked on climate change programs under President Obama. The Energy Department decided to roundly refuse that request, although it’s unclear whether the Trump Administration will try again once they’re officially installed.
Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, they’re taking a similar tack with the State Department, sending a chillingly casual email (which you can read here) about what anybody over there’s doing on gender equality:
The email asked the State Department to deliver “issue papers from bureaus and offices (one paper max per bureau/office) outlining existing programs and activities to promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence, promoting women’s participation in economic and political spheres, entrepreneurship, etc.”
As the paper points out, “many of the programs were begun or were championed by Hillary Clinton” while she was Secretary of State.
There’s little precedent that we can find for these letters the Trump folks are sending out, and they seem to be catching federal officials exceedingly off-guard, though the New York Times reports that State Department press secretary John Kirby “said that in general terms, the information being sought by Mr. Trump’s team was not out of the ordinary.” But a State Department source told the LA Times that regardless, people are “freaked out.” Join the enormous, shrieking club.