President-elect Donald Trump has nearly filled out his cabinet and his selections so far share some common traits: wealthy, mostly white males who come from backgrounds in big business.
For his four big cabinet positions —State, Treasury, Defense, Justice – Trump has chosen four white men in Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, Steve Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, James (Mad Dog) Mattis, a retired general and Jeff Sessions, an Alabama senator.
And while Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller has pledged that the incoming administration will be “very broad and diverse” his cabinet doesn’t appear that way.
His top White House jobs — chief of staff, national security adviser and senior adviser — all went to white guys, including those tapped to run the departments of Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“They are an in your face rebuttal of the core premise of candidate Trump’s campaign that he was going to displace the establishment,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a non-profit group based in Washington, D.C.
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In fact, an analysis of data compiled by Anne Joseph O’Connell, a University of California at Berkeley law school professor, found that even if he appoints women or minorities to the three remaining cabinet-level posts — Veterans Affairs, Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget — Trump will have the least diverse cabinet dating back to George H.W. Bush.
O’Connell found that former president Bill Clinton installed 10 women and minorities into cabinet-level jobs during his first term, while George W. Bush had nine in his first term, and Barack Obama broke records with 13.
Trump’s lone African-American choice is Ben Carson, a former Republican presidential nomination contender, who will run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Of his four female appointees, the highest profile is billionaire Republican Betsy DeVos nominated as Secretary of Education.
Affulence is another deciding feature of Trump’s team.
The 17 people Trump has so far selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have a combined wealth of $9.5 billion including DeVos – whose net worth is estimated at roughly $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.
“I want people that made a fortune! Because now they’re negotiating for you, OK?” the president-elect said during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, last week.
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Throughout the campaign Trump had rallied against corporate America and Washington elites while he also accused opponents like Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz of being in the pocket of Wall Street bankers.
“I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder,” Trump said during a January speech. “Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.”
However, it seems that Goldman Sachs will indeed have a voice in Trump’s White House. Steve Mnuchin, selected to be Trump’s Treasury Secretary, spent 17 years as a hedge fund manager for the firm while the bank’s current president and COO, Gary Cohn, is expected to lead the White House National Economic Council.
“Trump voters believed he was going to overturn establishment politics, overturn crony capitalism and undo the interconnectedness and inside deal making between Wall Street and Washington,” Weissman said. “The selection of the cabinet overall is a total betrayal of those core concepts and a betrayal of the voters.”
Here is a look at Trump’s cabinet picks so far:
*With files from the Associated Press