- Getty/Steve Pope
President-elect Donald Trump’s picks for his administration could make his Cabinet one of the wealthiest in US history – and that may have been by his own design.
On the third leg of his “Thank You” tour Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump defended his selection of millionaires and billionaires to join his administration, likening his picks to rich athletes.
“I want people that made a fortune because now they’re negotiating with you,” Trump said. “It’s not different than a great baseball player or a great golfer.”
Trump has nominated billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as his commerce secretary; Betsy DeVos, a billionaire activist, as his education secretary; and Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary.
Both Mnuchin and Ross have backgrounds in the financial industry and have worked for Goldman Sachs.
Trump’s picks are particularly interesting as he vowed during his campaign to “drain the swamp” of Washington insiders and lobbyists who he said profited at the expense of hardworking Americans.
Still, Trump insists that his picks would be devoted to serving America.
“These people have given up fortunes of income in order to make $1 a year, and they’re so proud to do it,” Trump said. “In filling my Cabinet, I’m looking for people who fully understand the meaning of service and who are committed to advancing the common good.”
So far, only Trump has said he will decline his presidential salary, and it is unclear whether some of his Cabinet members will do the same.