White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White House

White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2017.

Credit:

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Trump, how does your clamp down on government communications square with your goal of returning government to the people?

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump's administration took steps to clamp down on government communications.

The Trump Administration imposed a media blackout on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — according to the Associated Press, the agency and its scientists are now banned from issuing press releases, posting blog updates, or sharing information through EPA social media accounts. Additionally, EPA employees are now prohibited from issuing new contracts or grants.

And it's not just the EPA. A research agency at US Department of Agriculture was told it could no longer disseminate information to the public.

“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” says an internal email obtained by the Associated Press from Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for the USDA’s Agriculture Research Agency.

The department later walked back the directive somewhat — suggesting that it had been issued "prior to Departmental guidance being issued." The Department of Health and Human Services has also issued guidance that sub-units should not communicate with lawmakers or publish new regulations until the Trump administration can review them.

During his inaugural address on Friday, Trump said his administration would give power back to the people of the United States. 

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people,” he said. “January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

During his briefing today, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he was still looking into the change in policy.

In light of his inaugural address, we want to know: President Trump, how does your clamp down on government communications square with your priority of returning the government to the people?

Click here to tweet him that question, and share this article so that others can too.

Over President Donald Trump's roughly first 100 days, we'll be asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs. See more of our questions at pri.org/100questions.

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