Trump’s Cabinet Picks In Their Own Words

“Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich,” President-elect Donald Trump once told ABC’s Good Morning America.

As a parade of (predominantly) white (mostly) billionaires cycle through Trump Tower’s revolving (entirely) golden doors, the President-elect is poised to assemble the most, um, “beautiful” cabinet in American history—adorned with racism, xenophobia, misogyny and rape apologism.

Copyright Jenny Warburg
Copyright Jenny Warburg

Of course, real beauty comes from within. Much like Donald Trump’s own words, throughout his campaign and now in his new role as President-Elect, have continuously revealed his deep-seated sexism and racism (among other “isms”), we’ve decided to let Trump’s domestic policy team strut their stuff and let their words speak for themselves.

For Secretary of Heath and Human Services: Representative Tom Price

Price has been a vocal opponent of Obamacare and is a staunch advocate of Medicare system overhaul, including measures that would see drastic cuts to Medicaid and Medical programs. In 2012, the Georgia representative, currently serving his sixth term in Congress, claimed that, prior to the birth control mandate under the Affordable Care act, “no woman” had struggled to afford contraception. “Bring me one woman,” he demanded, “who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one.”

For Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

There’s more than a little irony in the fact that the likely future attorney general and senior member of the Senate Majority Committee was once rejected by the same committee for a federal judgeship. A bipartisan majority in the senate judiciary committee rejected Sessions as a candidate for a federal judgeship in 1986 amid charges of racial bias. Evidence surfaced charging Sessions with calling a white civil rights attorney a “disgrace to his race,” that he had referred to a black male attorney in his office as “boy” and referred to civil-rights groups as “Communist-inspired” and “un-American.” During the same period, he also admitted to calling the Voting Rights Act “a piece of intrusive legislation.” As reported by The Washington Post, Sessions has also opposed nearly every immigration bill, including those dealing with legal immigration such as visas for foreign STEM workers.

It appears Sessions also is—unsurprisingly—no friend to women’s rights or equality. Following the release of the now infamous Access Hollywood Tapes, Sessions had the following exchange with a reporter in St. Louis, as reported by The Washington Post:

“This was very improper language, and he’s acknowledged that,” Sessions said last month in St. Louis, according to the magazine.

The reporter pressed him. “But beyond the language, would you characterize the behavior described in that as sexual assault if that behavior actually took place?”

“I don’t characterize that as sexual assault,” Sessions replied.

“So if you grab a woman by the genitals,” the reporter said, “that’s not sexual assault?”

“I don’t know. It’s not clear that he — how that would occur,” Sessions said.

For Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson

Just this week, the pediatric neurosurgeon who previously cited  his lack of government experience as a reason he would rule out serving in Trump’s cabinet accepted a position as the Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Carson has been a vocal opponent to public assistance programs—many of which fall under the purview of the department he will head. He believes these programs, which his mother at times used to support her own family, detract from church and faith-based programs that provide supplementary support for low-income communities.

Carson has previously compared abortions to slave-ownership and suggested that Planned Parenthood is a form of racially-targeted population control:

“…One of the reasons that you find most of their clinics in black neighborhoods is so that you can find ways to control that population.”

Carson, who believes homosexuality is a choice, has also asserted that prison, where thousands of inmates are raped every year, can “cause” inmates to be gay, telling CNN’s “New Day” that “a lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.” Carson later apologized for these comments, saying there are “no definitive studies that people are born to a specific sexuality.” In fact, there have been multiple, well-reputed studies indicating the biological links to heterosexuality and homosexuality.

For Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos

The current chair of the Michigan Republican Party, DeVos is part of a billionaire family and is the daughter-in-law of an Amway co-founder. Along with her husband, Dick, DeVos has poured millions into supporting some of the nation’s most conservative educational platforms via their family foundation. According to the National Women’s Law Center, DeVos has actively sought to combat President Obama’s efforts to enforce Title IX legislation that protects victims of campus sexual assault through the DeVos Family Foundation—and has also given millions to anti-choice congressional candidates as well and to support deceptive, anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

Where DeVos’ ideologies, however, pose the biggest direct threat is in her support redirecting public education funding and, apparently, a desire for using schools for religious indoctrination. In audio obtained by Politico and recorded in 2001 at The Gathering, an annual meeting of some of America’s wealthiest Christians, DeVos compares her educational activism to Shephelah; the biblical battlefield where David fought Goliath:

“Our desire is to be in that Shephelah, and to confront the culture in which we all live today in ways that will continue to help advance God’s Kingdom, but not to stay in our own faith territory.”

Nevermind that “God’s kingdom” doesn’t typically have room for women’s rights, particularly in the eyes of GOP lawmakers.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Someone should tell Trump’s team, though, that this stuff sure is ugly.



Lauren Young is a Ms. contributor. She has a Master’s Degree in European and Russian Studies from Yale University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Russian Civilization from Smith College. Follow her on @thatlaurenyoung.