About a month after Donald Trump was elected to the highest office in the land, bringing a massive squad of GOP politicians into positions of power along with him, reports surfaced of climate change scientists working to hide and preserve their data and scientific findings.
It may have all seemed a bit melodramatic and overly paranoid at the time, but it turns out they had good reason to fear.
It is day five of Donald Trump’s presidency and the GOP takeover of the Senate and the House, and already signs of the unraveling of the Environmental Protection Agency are appearing in the media. What most of us didn’t know, however, is that we weren’t supposed to see those signs at all.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained on her Tuesday evening broadcast that “the only reason we know about this is that an EPA employee took it upon himself or herself to secretly tip somebody off inside a congressional office on Capitol Hill, and somebody in a congressional office on Capitol Hill told reporters. And that’s the only reason we know.”
What Maddow and other reporters have learned so far, without White House press releases or any official word to the public is that all EPA grants and contracts have been “suspended, effective immediately,” which as Maddow explained, is “the bulk of how the EPA does its work,” so the taxpayer-funded agency is now at a dead standstill.
We also know that EPA officials have been “ordered to stop talking.” In an internal document obtained by MSNBC that Maddow describes as having been “smuggled into Capitol Hill” by an EPA employee, restrictions are laid out in a way that legally gags employees from saying anything to the public.
Quotes from the document are as follows:
“No press releases will be going out to external audiences.”
“No social media will be going out.”
“No blog messages.”
“The Beach Team (the incoming Trump administration will review the list of upcoming webinars and decide which ones will go forward.”
“Incoming media requests will be carefully screened.”
“No new content can be placed on any website.”
“List servers (email lists) will be reviewed. Only send out critical messages.”
If this is all sounding a bit 1984, it gets worse. For the full segment, see video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube