- Kate Ter Haar, Flickr, CC by 2.0
In his first days in the White House, President Trump gagged employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Parks Service and other agencies, ordering them not to communicate with journalists and barring social media posts from official accounts.
According to some news outlets, the temporary ban on communications from federal departments is a standard part of transitioning power—the response, however, has been anything but routine.
Following news of the gag order, a number of so-called "rogue" Twitter accounts popped up purporting to be run by federal employees in opposition to the media blackout. The degree to which those accounts are actually backed by disgruntled agency workers is unclear, but they underscore the difficulty Trump has had controlling the narrative surrounding his transition. Worse still, it appears more than a few White House staffers are willing to dish on their boss, revealing a raft of embarrassing details and anecdotes about Trump's attitudes, habits and governance style (he gets bored easily, spends a lot of time watching TV and doesn't like to climb stairs).
Regardless of whether Trump's attempts at information control are run-of-the-mill or a violation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, leaks to some media sources are coming out of the woodwork, including from nonprofit ProPublica, whose "How to Leak to ProPublica" page was the most popular on its site following Trump's inauguration.
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