The revelation came after Discovery Institute researcher Christopher Rufo told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that "critical race theory" had become the default ideology of the federal government. He pointed to several of his own findings, including that Sandia National Laboratories -- which designs nuclear weapons -- held a mandatory retreat titled, "White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations.”
In response to Rufo's claims, a senior administration official told Fox News that the administration was doing everything they could to stop those types of trainings for federal employees.
Rufo specifically called on President Trump to sign an executive order banning critical race theory-type trainings from the federal government.
It's unclear when the administration's efforts to end these trainings started, but as Rufo noted, many of these events, as well as other controversial changes, took place during Trump's tenure in the White House. More recently, NASA came under fire for announcing it would no longer use the terms "Eskimo Nebula" and "Siamese Twins Galaxy" as part of ongoing efforts to stamp out "systemic discrimination and inequality."
And in July, the federally-created National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) faced a wave of backlash for publishing a graphic that linked things like the nuclear family and "decision-making" to whiteness. The museum later removed the graphic.
Some of those same concepts came up during the "White Men's Caucus" reportedly held for Sandia's white male executives in 2019.
Reportedly hosted by a company called "White Men As Full Diversity Partners," the training entailed identifying assumptions about white culture or privilege. A training document obtained by Rufo listed a series of "examples of white male culture."
Those included "golf," "quick decisions," "self-confident," "risk taking," "brave," and other attributes that the document notes were "generated by participants." Sandia National Laboratories did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
One of the caucus packets also included a large sheet of paper with the title "white men" at the top. Listed below were a series of words in either red, green, or black ink -- apparently indicating negative or positive connotations. Terms like "mass killing" and "engineers" were in red while "country music," "MAGA hat," and "patriotic" appeared in green marker. "Founding fathers," "protestant work ethic," and "power" appeared in black marker.
It's unclear whether these programs will end but Rufo's reporting has indicated that leadership, at least at Sandia, support this type of training.
In August, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent a letter to the Department of Energy demanding that it provide an explanation for the caucus hosted for Sandia executives. Hawley announced at the end of last month that Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette initiated a department-wide investigation of the issue.
A DOE spokeswoman reportedly said: "The Department of Energy (DOE) leadership did not have knowledge of or authorize the use of taxpayer dollars for the reported social workshops at the Sandia National Laboratories, or elsewhere. The Secretary has directed the NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration], as well as DOE leadership, to initiate an expedited enterprise wide review of trainings that take place at all 17 labs, plants and sites to ensure equal treatment for all employees and contractors. In addition, he has asked DOE's Inspector General to initiate its own independent investigation."
Rufo claims to have found instances of similar trainings across a long list of federal agencies, including the FBI.
That particular event, titled "Difficult Conversations about Race in Troubling Times," coincided with a national uproar over George Floyd's death and racial injustice more generally in the U.S. Documents dated June 24, 2020, and obtained by Rufo, defended this type of training as a way to dismantle systemic racism.
"When people begin to become more aware of some of the problematic and ingrained behaviors from the past, especially White people, they begin to look to what to begin doing to support the dismantling of systemic racism," one of the documents read.
An information packet reportedly obtained from that event also declares: "It is imperative at this time that people who are Whiteinvest in race-based growth and development on topics such as systemic racism, civil rights history, unconscious bias, inclusion, and contemporary ideology such as anti-racism, intersectionality, White privilege, and White fragility."
The packet also directs employees to read "How to be an Anti-Racist," by Dr. Ibram Kendi, whose antiracist research center recently received a $10 million donation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Kendi has argued that "there is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy." He previously proposed tasking the federal government with monitoring public officials' speech, disciplining them, and "pre-clearing" all local, state, and federal policies based on how they impact racial equity.