Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the queries "could have been an attempt to target civil servants," including "scientists and lawyers and other experts who are critical to the success of the federal government's ability to make policy."
By design, their work transcends the term of any one president, Earnest said.
Trump, a Republican, said during his election campaign that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China to damage U.S. manufacturing.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up