No experience required, just a whole lot of dough
With the nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, President-elect Donald Trump’s gilded cabinet has gotten even wealthier.
The oil executive—whose cozy relationship with the Kremlin has worried some—will fit right in alongside Trump’s other plutocrats, World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder Linda McMahon, philanthropist Betsy DeVos, and Tod Ricketts, the son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.
So if you want to know who Trump will pick next, it seems you just have to follow the money—Trump’s campaign money, that is.
Many of Trump’s cabinet picks have come from his most generous fundraisers. He’s chosen six such donors as cabinet secretaries and deputies so far. The group will head the country’s most important positions, dealing with the most complicated issues of our time, in one of the most sensitive times in American history. Most, as well, have beliefs that undermine the very posts they’ve been tapped to lead.
For someone who swept into the White House on promises to “drain the swamp” of corporate elites and Washington, D.C., bureaucrats, the choices seem contradictory at best. At worst, perhaps, diabolical.
The Washington Postcalled the lineup of millionaires and billionaires “unprecedented.”
Together, according to The Washington Post, the six families who Trump has tapped for top positions have given the Trump campaign, his aligned Super PACs, and the Republican National Committee $11.6 million.
Here’s the rundown:
Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is the wife of Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway, a company that has been accused of being a pyramid scheme. The DeVos family gave well over a million dollars to both the Trump campaign and the RNC.
Trump named Linda McMahon as small business administrator after she gave $7.5 million to the campaign, the RNC and Super PACs for Trump.
Former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin, who was Trump’s national finance chair and major donor, was nominated for treasury secretary.
Fast-food executive and anti-work regulations crusader Andrew Puzder gave Trump over $300,000 and was subsequently named labor secretary.
It also helps to be the son of those who contributed to the campaign. The Ricketts family gave generously to Trump. Soon after, their son Todd was nominated for deputy commerce secretary.
Commerce secretary goes to Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor that went to bat for Trump and held lavish campaign fundraisers.
In sum, Trump’s cabinet is one of the most potentially disastrous ever assembled. As USA Today has written:
Trump is naming a Cabinet and senior White House staff that is dominated by retired military leaders, wealthy business executives, and partisan activists who oppose the historic mission of the departments they are poised to head.