President Donald Trump's propensity for bending or completely disregarding the truth has been extensively documented.
"Trump administration officials routinely suppress consequential information about how Trump's dangerous worker safety, public health, and environmental policies will impact Americans."
—Alan Zibel, Public Citizen
But as a new report published Tuesday by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen makes clear, Trump and the members of his administration aren't simply "sloppy with the facts." The Trump White House has also worked deliberately to censor facts that conflict with its regressive and anti-worker policies.
The Trump administration "has engaged in a deliberate campaign to suppress information that contradicts its corporate and ideological extremist agenda," Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement on Tuesday.
The report examines over two dozen instances when the White House has blocked research, consciously manipulated data, and killed rules designed to promote transparency in both the public and private sectors—all of which comprise what Public Citizen describes as the administration's "war against information it considers inconvenient."
"Trump administration officials seem eager to dish off the record about the daily drama of a dysfunctional White House," Alan Zibel, research director for Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency Project, said in a statement. "But they routinely suppress far more consequential information about how Trump's dangerous worker safety, public health, and environmental policies will impact Americans."
Below are just a handful of examples included in the new analysis, which can be read in full here:
- Making it harder to find out whether workers have been injured or killed on the job: Trump signed legislation to repeal a requirement that employers keep records of serious workplace injuries and illnesses going back five years.
- Shelving an economic analysis of how a 'tip-stealing' rule would impact workers: The Trump administration eliminated a Labor Department economic analysis of a proposal changing rules so business owners can take worker’s tips or redistribute tips paid to one worker to other workers.
- Making it harder for authorities to gather information on the student lending industry: Rather than aggressively policing companies that collect student loan payments, the Education Department has been working to shield the industry, barring student loan servicers from responding to information requests from third parties including state regulators, according to an internal memo obtained by Politico.
- Removing data on animal welfare: The U.S. Department of Agriculture removed thousands animal welfare documents from its website, including documents on the number of animals kept by research labs, circuses, companies and zoos, as well as inspection reports filed under a law barring the intentional injury of horses’ hooves and legs.
- Censoring climate change information: The Trump administration has scrubbed information about climate change from numerous government websites. Just months after taking office, the EPA quickly dismantled its main climate change website, saying the changes reflect the EPA’s new direction” and claiming that officials were merely removing “outdated language.”
- Halting a study of mountaintop coal mining health effects: In August 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced it had been directed by the Interior Department to cease all work on a study of serious health risks for people living near coal mine sites in Central Appalachia.