Trump Has Assembled the Worst Cabinet in History
By any standard, President Trump’s cabinet has been a hot mess, so it doesn’t surprise me to learn that the Government Accountability Office released a report yesterday that accuses Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson of being a criminal. On the campaign trail, Trump told us over and over that he’d hire only the best people to serve him, but his choices just haven’t worked out well for him or for the country.
Among the top three, his first Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil, called the president a “f*cking moron” and was fired on the toilet. His Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, said Trump had the understanding of a “fifth or sixth grader” and made sure everyone saw his resignation letter after he quit in protest of the administration’s Syria policy. Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury, has reportedly called Trump “an idiot,” but somehow still remains in his job. The U.S. Ethics Office just rejected his 2018 financial disclosure statement because he sold his stake in a movie production company to his girlfriend and then married her, which kind of defeated the divestiture concept.
The next tier of cabinet members have not fared any better. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also had his 2018 financial disclosure statement rejected. In March, a federal judge ruled that Ross had acted in “bad faith” and broke several laws related to his job overseeing the U.S. Census. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt have both resigned in disgrace. Zinke faced federal probes into his “travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest,” while Pruitt’s sins are too extensive to list.
Trump has plowed through two Homeland Security secretaries. He promoted John Kelly to be his chief of staff, but fired him from that position after learning that Kelly had called him “an idiot” on multiple occasions. He fired Kirstjen Nielsen for being insufficiently cruel to asylum seekers, but not before her cruelty to asylum seekers made her a household name.
Trump’s first Health and Human Services secretary lasted 231 days before he was forced out over his extravagant travel habits. His first Secretary of Veterans Affairs was fired after thirteen months for the same reason. Then Trump briefly tried to get Ronny “the Candyman” Jackson confirmed as his Vets secretary before it became clear that a drunk and abusive man known for tossing around prescription medications like the Easter Bunny wasn’t going to make the grade in the Senate.
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Washington Monthly - Martin Longman