WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department
said on Sunday it has suspended employee training programs
related to diversity and inclusion, confirming a Reuters
exclusive a day before, but affirmed its commitment to fostering
a more diverse workplace.
An internal State Department cable obtained by Reuters on
Saturday showed the temporary pause came after President Donald
Trump's executive order a month ago, directing federal agencies
to end programs deemed 'divisive' by the White House.
The executive order forbid the teaching by federal agencies
of "divisive concepts" including that the United States is
"fundamentally racist or sexist."
"As an Executive Branch Agency, the Department of State
complies with all Executive Orders," a State Department
spokesman said in an email but said the agency is committed to
ensuring a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
"Department leadership continues to encourage the workforce
to engage in inclusive conversations and other efforts to
promote diversity and inclusion consistent with the E.O.," he
said, adding that the statutory trainings will not be affected.
The training suspension came less than two weeks before the
Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, in which the debate about
racial injustice in the United States has been fueled by police
killings of Black Americans that sparked nationwide protests
over the summer.
During the first debate with his Democratic rival Joe Biden,
Trump defended his executive order saying the training programs
were teaching people "very bad ideas."
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Richard Chang)