Trump's cabinet so far: wealthy, white and war-tested

2016-12-10 21:27
(Evan Vucci, AP)

(Evan Vucci, AP)

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Washington - Four billionaires, three generals, a handful of women and nothing but conservatives: President-elect Donald Trump is building a super-rich, unorthodox and largely white inner circle to run the United States from January 20.

They include a retired general whose salty language and warrior's determination earned him the nickname "Mad Dog"; a professional-wrestling magnate whose husband was once body-slammed by Trump himself and the wife of the most powerful member of the US Senate.

Strong signal

Trump has yet to announce his picks for some key posts - most notably secretary of state - but several of his choices strongly suggest he is prepared to upset the political order that has dominated Washington for the last eight years.

Many incoming cabinet members have railed against the worker protections and environmental and corporate regulations that President Barack Obama has enacted.

Of the 13 people so far chosen for his cabinet or for cabinet-rank positions, most are white males, like his base supporters. Three are women, two are Asian-American, one is black and none are Hispanic.

Trump has offered cabinet posts to several billionaires and multi-millionaires, sending a strong signal that he is happy with Wall Street exerting a renewed influence over the US economy.

They include Wilbur Ross, a private equity financier who made a fortune buying bankrupt companies and flipping them for huge profits, for secretary of commerce.

Future education secretary Betsy DeVos is a mega donor who has long promoted taxpayer-funded alternatives to public schools, while Linda McMahon, tapped to head the Small Business Administration, helped grow her husband's WWE wrestling promotion operation into a global phenomenon.

A fourth billionaire in Trump's inner circle, Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, will serve as deputy secretary of commerce.

Most successful people

Multi-millionaire Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner who has funded Hollywood blockbusters, is the soon-to-be Treasury secretary, while the wealthy fast food executive Andrew Puzder has been picked as secretary of labour.

Trump defended his decision to put "some of the most successful people in the world" into his cabinet.

"One newspaper criticised me: why can't they have people of modest means?" Trump told supporters in Iowa on Thursday.

"Because I want people that made a fortune! Because now they're negotiating with you, okay?"


Read more on:    donald trump  |  us

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