Andrea Mitchell Fears Trump ‘Hit List’ Against Climate Change Activists in Government

On her 12 p.m. ET hour show on Monday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell advanced liberal fears that Donald Trump was compiling a “hit list” of Energy Department officials who pushed Obama administration climate change policy by sending around a “very controversial questionnaire” about the issue.  

Speaking to White House correspondent Kristen Welker, Mitchell fretted: “There was a very controversial questionnaire that their energy transition team sent out to everyone in the Energy Department at the high levels asking for the names of anyone who helped negotiate the Paris climate change accord....It was viewed by a lot of people at Energy and in the environmental world as a potential hit list of people to get rid of.”

She added: “That’s a controversial approach. Nobody can remember anything quite that intrusive from a transition team.” Welker agreed: “Incredibly controversial, Andrea. A 74-point questionnaire. In addition to the questions you just mentioned, it also asked had energy staffers attended climate change meetings or briefings.”

Despite the hyperventilating over the “controversial” and “intrusive” document from Trump’s team, in 2008, Barack Obama’s presidential transition team sent around a 63-question personnel form that asked respondents to reveal if they or any members of their “immediate family” owned a firearm.

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Mitchell was citing a story in Friday’s New York Times, which explained: “In question after question, the document peppers Energy Department managers with pointed queries about climate science research, clean energy programs and the employees who work for those programs....Energy Department employees...described the questionnaire as worrying.”

The Times then turned to Robert Weissman of the left-wing “watchdog group” Public Citizen, who ranted that the questionnaire “suggests the Trump administration plans a witch hunt for civil servants who’ve simply been doing their jobs.”

While Mitchell wrung her hands over climate change activists within the government being asked to explain and justify certain policies, she has attacked Republicans as anti-science for their skepticism on the matter. In the wake of the GOP winning control of Congress in the 2014 midterm election, the reporter worried over how Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy was going to handle the “climate deniers” taking over.

Here is a transcript of Mitchell’s December 12 exchange with Welker:

12:48 PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: And then you’ve got Energy Secretary and today he's seeing both Joe Manchin from West Virginia as well as Rick Perry, Texas, former rival, possibly for the Department of Energy. There was a very controversial questionnaire that their energy transition team sent out to everyone in the Energy Department at the high levels asking for the names of anyone who helped negotiate the Paris climate change accord. It was basically asking for top senior people to be identified. It was viewed by a lot of people at Energy and in the environmental world as a potential hit list of people to get rid of. That’s a controversial approach. Nobody can remember anything quite that intrusive from a transition team.  

KRISTEN WELKER: Incredibly controversial, Andrea. A 74-point questionnaire. In addition to the questions you just mentioned, it also asked had energy staffers attended climate change meetings or briefings. So this really dug deep to try to get to the heart of this issue. And of course the concern is that there will be some blowback against those Energy officials who have participated in these meetings. As you point out, he is meeting with Rick Perry today, the former Texas governor, as well as Joe Manchin. I am told that Rick Perry is also one of the top contenders, he's considering him “big league,” I am told by one top official, Andrea.

(...)

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