Trump’s Cabinet is shaping up to be one of the whitest in recent history

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Reporter
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Donald Trump's Cabinet. (Photos: AP/Getty/Reuters)
Donald Trump’s Cabinet. (Photos: AP/Getty/Reuters)

The population of the United States is more diverse than ever, yet with each new Cabinet appointment announced by President-elect Donald Trump, his proposed administration looks poised to become one of the whitest White Houses in recent history.

With his core team in place — Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff Reince Priebus, national security adviser Mike Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon — Trump is already guaranteed to enter the Oval Office surrounded by white men.

The rest of Trump’s Cabinet appointments must first be confirmed by the Senate. But of the 18 people he’s already picked for the top roles requiring Senate approval, 14 are white and of those, 12 are also male.

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate tapped for secretary of housing and urban development, is so far the only black appointee. None of Trump’s choices have been Latino.

It’s worth noting that there appears to be more diversity within Trump’s small pool of female appointees than in his entire cast of Cabinet picks.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who’s been selected for the role of U.N. ambassador, is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India, while Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick for transportation secretary, was 8 years old when she and her family immigrated to the U.S. from their native Taiwan.

One of the few Trump appointees whose résumé includes government experience, Chao served as labor secretary for eight years under President George W. Bush, making her the first Asian-American woman to receive a cabinet position. She is also married to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to recuse himself from his wife’s confirmation hearings.

Trump has also nominated health policy consultant Seema Verma to be administrator of Medicare and Medicaid services, a role within the department of health and human services. Verma, whose parents are Indian immigrants, designed Indiana’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion program.

The other two women who’ve been named for lead Cabinet roles are former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, Trump’s choice for small business administrator, and education activist Betsy DeVos, who has been selected for education secretary.

Barack Obama's Cabinet in 2009. (Photos: AP/Getty/Reuters)
Barack Obama’s Cabinet in 2009. (Photos: AP/Getty/Reuters)

The whiteness of the Trump White House is particularly striking when compared against the outgoing administration, which has been deemed the most diverse in history.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg Politics this week, 52 percent of the confirmed appointees to President Obama’s first cabinet were white, as compared to 72 percent of George W. Bush’s first confirmed Cabinet and 82 percent of those already selected by Trump.

Trump’s White House will likely be slightly less male-dominated than Bush’s, with men making up 83 percent of W’s first confirmed Cabinet versus 76 percent of Trump’s nominees so far.

Trump still has a chance to make his first presidential Cabinet slightly less homogeneous with his choices for secretary of agriculture, veterans affairs, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. trade representative.

However, with the selection this week of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state (if he is confirmed), Trump is officially on track to have the four most powerful departments — defense, justice, treasury and state — run by white men for the first time in 24 years.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting