Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez calls Trump staffing inquiries 'illegal'

The U.S. Secretary of Labor questioned the legality of certain inquiries being made by Donald Trump's team on Tuesday, reports The Hill.

In a recent interview, Tom Perez referred to a questionnaire that had been circulated in an attempt to attain the names of Energy Department and other staff involved with climate change-related work.

According to CBS News, Secretary Perez flat out stated, "Those questions have no place in a transition. That is illegal."

RELATED: Trump's official picks for cabinet and administration positions

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

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Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

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Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

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Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

(EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

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Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

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Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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He also reportedly added, "Will dedicated career people be targeted because they were doing the right work?"

The Trump team has since distanced itself from the activity, with one official telling CNN, "The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol. The person who sent it has been properly counseled."

However, some government insiders continue to be concerned, particularly since there was a more recent State Department inquiry by the incoming administration related to what has been described as "gender-related staffing, programming and funding."

RELATED: Funding for climate change research

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