3 Goldman Sachs appointees and an anti-gay Who’s Who comprise the majority of the president-elect’s administration picks. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Here is your comprehensive guide to all of Trump’s cabinet picks thus far.
Drain that swamp, Donald.
By Nick Tripoli, with contributions by Alex Mohajer
US Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Racist, anti-LGBT, failed Federal judiciary nominee, opposes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, opposes recreational AND medicinal marijuana, was one of only three Senators to vote against additional funding for the VA medical system.
Secretary of Health & Human Services: Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Voted to prohibit funding of NPR; opposes women’s reproductive rights; opposes gun control; anti-LGBT; Price is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a small, right-wing political organization which advocates a range of scientifically discredited hypotheses, including the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, that being gay reduces life expectancy, that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and that there are links between autism and vaccinations. Rep. Price wants to repeal Obamacare and is a proponent of Medicare privatization and opposes allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceuticals for lower drug prices. Price has received $596,825 in federal campaign campaign donations from pharmaceutical and health products companies, as well as $3.56 million from doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign donations.
Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao. Was George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, 2001-2009. Was Deputy Secretary of Transportation under George H.W. Bush. She’s married to Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary saw two mine disasters for which she was criticized. Twelve miners were killed in the Sago Mine disaster on January 2, 2006, and three rescue workers died in the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster on August 6, 2007. Before the mines collapsed, Chao had cut more than a hundred coal mine safety inspections. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Nearly half of the 208 safety citations levied in 2005 against the Sago coal mine where 12 men died this week were ‘serious and substantial.'” A 2008 Government Accountability Office report noted that the Labor Department gave Congress inaccurate numbers that understated the expense of contracting out its employees’ work to private firms during Chao’s tenure. A report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, under the Chairmanship of Henry A. Waxman (D–CA), alleged that Chao and other White House officials campaigned for Republican candidates at taxpayer expense. The report described this as a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939, which restricts the use of public funds for partisan gain, but no action was taken by any entity with responsibility for enforcing the Hatch Act.
Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos. Billionaire and education “activist.” Holds no degrees in Education or school administration; never worked inside a school. Big proponent of school vouchers and school “choice” using public funds which would normally go to public schools. Big proponent of “right to work” and slashing unions. Contributed to efforts to ban same-sex marriage, raising questions about the Trump administration’s treatment of LGBT youth.
Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross. Billionaire investor and former banker. He specializes in leveraged buyouts and failed businesses. In short, a total Wall Street insider and swamp dweller. Following the Sago Mine disaster, the New York Post’s Roddy Boyd reported that Ross “had been intimately involved with the company that owned the West Virginia mine where 12 miners perished — and he knew all about its safety problems, former executives charged.” The article also reported that the mine had 12 roof collapses in 2005, and that the U.S. Department of Labor data showed 208 citations for safety violations in that same period, including 21 times for build-up of toxic gasses. Despite these figures, Ross refused to shut down the mine. The Department of Labor and the State of West Virginia, as well as Congress are currently investigating the disaster.
Secretary of Treasury: Steven Mnuchin. Former banker and former partner with Goldman Sachs. Multimillionaire. Again, total Wall Street insider and swamp dweller. He ran a “foreclosure machine” that foreclosed on 36,000 Americans. He founded RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which produced a number of notable films, including the X-Men film franchise and Avatar. Dune bought the failed housing lender IndyMac in 2009, buying it out of bankruptcy from the FDIC and renaming it OneWest with Mnuchin as chair. According to The New York Times, OneWest “was involved in a string of lawsuits over questionable foreclosures, and settled several cases for millions of dollars.” OneWest was sold to CIT Group in 2015. In November 2016, two nonprofits filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleging redlining by OneWest Bank.
White House Chief of Staff: Reince Preibus. Washington insider, RNC Chairman and former Wisconsin state legislator. Called Trump a “role model.” Oversaw Most Anti-LGBT Platform in History, as WH Chief of Staff.
Ambassador to the United Nations: Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC). In her political career, she’s been staunchly anti-choice/women’s rights, she’s supported lower taxes, has been opposed to business regulations, and is staunchly anti-union. Oddly, she was a fierce critic of Donald Trump during his campaign. And last but not least, and probably most importantly, she has zero foreign policy experience, so there’s that. She may prove the sole LGBT ally in Trump’s administration, but to what extent remains unclear.
Chief Strategist & Senior Counselor: Steve Bannon. Racist white nationalist. Lovely use of anti-gay slurs caught on tape. Former Executive Chair of Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion and commentary website which according to several media and people, Bannon himself included, is associated with the Internet-based alternative right, or alt-right .. AKA racist white nationalists. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart’s death, Bannon became executive chair of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right (racist) and nationalistic approach toward its agenda. Bannon declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: “We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-‘ the permanent political class.” Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996. The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon’s leadership as a “curiosity of the fringe right wing”, with “ideologically driven journalists”, that is a source of controversy “over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic, and racist.”
Happy Holidays, folks! You can make donations to the Human Rights Campaign, which has a comforting acronym, here.
Nick Tripoli is a guest contributor and member of Bros4Hillary. He is a former school teacher and government accountant from Austin, Texas. Alex Mohajer is the political director of Bros4Hillary and the editor-in-chief of BrosBlog. You may contact him on Twitter @alexmohajer or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.