The White House executive orders to cease “un-American” and “divisive” employee training has some areas of government confused about how to move forward with competing directives, including the Veterans Affairs, according to The Washington Post.
“I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane, that it was a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools all over the place,” Trump said during Tuesday night’s first presidential debate. “And you know it. And so does everybody.”
Just one day earlier, the White House issued a new set of guidelines on the attempts to ban certain types of training – narrowing the list of suspended courses – and outlining the repercussions for agencies that fail to follow the orders, according to the Post.
Sources told the Post some of the bans in the updated list still include ones on sexual harassment, tribal consultation, and how to address people with disabilities.
The VA, the government’s second largest agency, canceled training on “white privilege” and race theory, because, as Office of Management and Budget’s Russell Vought wrote in his memo, they were “divisive” and “un-American,” the Post reported.
Sources told the Post, Trump heard of the programs from a Fox News report before ordering them to be canceled, leading to inter-agency OMB criticism of Vought’s compliance.
Also, Vought’s memo reportedly can discipline employees who approve certain training progreams, per the report.
“Contractors who are found to have provided training for agency employees that teaches, advocates, or promotes the divisive concepts specified in the E.O. in violation of the applicable contract will be considered for suspension and disbarment procedures,” Vought’s memo read, the Post reported.
“Federal contractors are to be required to represent that they will not conduct such trainings for their own employees, with potential sanctions for noncompliance.”
“Race Café” is the title of the VA’s diversity training program was approved by one VA official as basic diversity training, but senior executive overruled and canceled it, according to the Post.
“VA is fully adhering to President Trump’s directive, and the event at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is no longer scheduled,” spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci’s email read Monday, per the Post.
“VA treats all Veterans and employees equally and with the utmost respect.”
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