Four days after the inauguration in January, a federal employee called a hotline run by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to register a complaint against Trump that was taken seriously enough that an investigation was opened into an executive order which banned EPA employees from communicating directly with the press, members of Congress or posting on social media.
The as yet unidentified employee, who appears to have provided their name, blasted the new rules on communications by any EPA employee, according to a copy of the recording that Motherboard.vice.com got through a Freedom of Information Act filing.
The caller said: “I have a complaint to file that we are being run by a f*cking fascist. I want you to know the American people have your backs. We are not going to stand for this bulls*it. I believe in the work you do. I work for the federal government and I know how much work you do and that you care.”
“We are going to get this c*cksucker out of office,” the caller continued. “I can’t bear to see what’s happened to this country. We are f*cking there for you. I do not expect you to call me back.”
The first OIG offices were created in 1976. They are supposed to promote economy and efficiency and seek out fraud, waste, and abuse – including gross mismanagement. The OIG is staffed by federal law enforcement agents.
The OIG even has the authority to protect the identity of the person making the complaint under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.
“When contacted,” reported Motherboard, “a spokesperson for the EPA’s Inspector General office said that complaints about administrations… without ‘specific allegations’ are generally forwarded to the agency’s Office of Public Affairs. So, unless detailed evidence is provided, investigators can’t evaluate the claim of whether the president is a ‘fucking fascist.'”
Not all complaints are investigated by the OIG but this one was.
However, this one has been closed. It does not appear any action was taken.
It is unclear if the angry caller works for the EPA or elsewhere, but since that call was made, many EPA employees have made their unhappiness known. Some have sought new jobs or charged that under Scott Pruitt the agency no longer is about science, facts and helping keep the air, water, and environment clean and livable.
The EPA under Trump and Pruitt is run like it’s under the thumb of fascists, who are pulling back on efforts to track and address climate change, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is a real problem that can be reversed by the same humans that caused it.
This investigation may be closed but the problems behind this angry call remain very much an open wound for the government and the nation.