by WorldTribune Staff, August 6, 2017
A number of career federal government workers, realizing that when President Donald Trump said he would drain the swamp “he meant them,” have openly joined the “resist” movement.
There is a “real industry now behind recruiting whistleblowers inside the resistance movement,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak told The Hill.
“It’s not enough just to be a government employee and resign because of the direction your agency is going,” Mackowiak said. “Now you have to do it in a highly public way, out of social pressure and personal motivation.”
One agency that has been impacted by the Trump revolution and is striking back is the Environmental Protection Agency.
Several former staffers have launched a group called “Save EPA” to defend the agency.
Jeff Ruch, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), said EPA unions and employees invited his group to do “free-speech brown bag presentations” about how to legally fight back against the Trump administration.
“From our point of view, it’s kind of obvious,” Ruch said when asked by The Hill about the increasing push-back from federal staffers. “You have Donald Trump, who ran and said he would drain the swamp, meaning them.”
PEER last week released an open letter from Elizabeth Southerland, a former top water official at the EPA who “said she was retiring because of proposed deep budget cuts to the agency and Administrator Scott Pruitt’s deregulatory agenda,” the Hill reported.
Southerland wrote that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”
Less than a week before Southerland’s rant, David Schnare, a former 34-year EPA veteran and Trump transition official, slammed a climate science debate plan by Pruitt as “silly” and said he resigned from his post because of Pruitt’s leadership.
The EPA called Schnare’s statement “false” and “wildly untrue,” and a spokesman questioned whether Southerland was retiring “because of a budget proposal, and not because she’s eligible for her six-figure government pension.”
Other federal staffers who have either resigned or openly defied the Trump administration include:
- Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft, who said last week that the Coast Guard “will not break faith” with its transgender members despite Trump’s promise to roll back policies allowing transgender service members.
- The acting director of the Drug Enforcement Agency said Trump “condoned police misconduct” in the president’s recent speech to law enforcement on Long Island.
- Walter Shaub, the former head of the Office of Government Ethics, resigned in July after publicly clashing with Trump on ethical issues.
- Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired in January when she refused to defend an immigration order.