Shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Takei tweeted the administration had removed pages related to climate change, the LGBT community, and healthcare from the official White House website. The former “Star Trek” actor and gay rights’ activist created a firestorm when it got re-tweeted 119 thousand times and media outlets started picking it up as actual ‘news.’ Left-wing activist groups like the Sierra Club and Think Progress quickly began a campaign of misinformation.

But as PolitiFact points out, the Trump administration had nothing to do with the missing pages. Before Donald Trump was even sworn in, his transition team was toiling away with President Obama’s administration on backing up and transferring the White House website. That involved getting help from the National Archives Records Administration, which is tasked with preserving the “nation’s record.”

Transition process

As part of the transition process, the National Archives freezes every single bit of information posted to whitehouse.gov and then the content is transferred over to ObamaWhiteHouse.archives.gov.

Once that’s done, the White House website is given to the Trump administration as a “blank slate.” Trump’s team had nothing to do with any missing pages.

It’s the same process that will happen when Trump finishes out his presidency. In fact, prior administrations have always transferred the site in the same fashion, including those of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Prior to the digital age, the National Archives collected tangible information for the federal record and presidential libraries.

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Donald Trump

Wiping slate clean

PolitiFact also notes the Obama administration removed the pages regarding healthcare, LGBT issues, and climate change (plus hundreds more), and not the Trump administration.

As Trump’s presidency moves forward, whitehouse.gov will get populated with new information focused on his agenda and cabinet picks. One such page already up is Trump’s “America First Energy Plan,” something he campaigned on extensively.

Trump has also added pages that he focused on during the election including foreign policy, jobs, military buildup, law enforcement, and trade. Because whitehouse.gov is considered a presidential record, federal regulations require “preserving the content for posterity.” Wiping the slate clean is part of that process and is no different from any other administration.

Trump’s agenda

Historians note that while the Trump administration hasn’t added pages to address climate change or LBTQ issues, at this point in Obama’s first term they had little content as well. whitehouse.gov is considered a “tool of that office” and sending out a tweet 90 minutes after Trump is sworn into office was premature and ill-informed.

Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee to publically state at the RNC he supported the LGBTQ community and they would have a voice if elected. And while the White House website no longer features the priorities of the Obama administration, they can be found at the website created by the National Archives, just as it was done for Bush and Clinton.

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