How exactly did Trump pick his cabinet?

Many of the people he has appointed are simply ridiculous. Pruitt and Perry want to abolish the departments they run. Carson and Devos have never worked a day in the fields that they are supposed to be experts in.
How could he possibly think it was a good idea to appoint these people?

He didn’t think it was good idea. I doubt very much Trump cares about how this country is ran unless it benefits him directly. If he does, he certainly isn’t showing it.

By all appearances this is a simple—and flagrant—case of nepotism. People like Perry, DeVos, and Carson either publicly supported Trump or gave his campaign large donations. In return Trump nominated them for positions of power, fully aware that the Republicans who would be tasked with confirming them would have no objection because these nominees have the most important credential of all: an ® after their name.

For Trump it’s not about experience or doing what’s best for the country. It’s about returning favors in a way that benefits himself.

I suspect that the Bannon/Miller/Mercer wing of the transition team had more to do with selections than Trump.


I don’t know how he picked them but he certainly seems to be losing control over them.

Apparently Trump was incandescent with rage at Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from investigations into Russian meddling with the election, a decision he made abruptly and without consulting with the President beforehand.

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. :slight_smile:

And Obama made Penny Pritzker Commerce Secretary entirely due to her accounting skills.
Old Hil was vetting 9 billionaire donors to her Foundation for US vice-president, including Bloomberg, Bill Gates and Tim Cook ( to bring in the young ) before selecting some political hack who was only a millionaire.

All politicians are similar. Debts have to be paid.

I suspect that Carson was picked so that the cabinet would have a token minority, and placed in charge of Housing and Urban Development because it had the word “Urban”.

Undoubtedly so.

But, in Trump’s case, he seemed to have been selecting people who (a) supported him during the campaign, and (b) were people whom he felt he could trust. As he managed to alienate a fair number of old-school Republicans during the campaign, it wound up being not a terribly long or robust list, and was often short on people with any actual governmental experience (e.g., Priebus, Devos, Carson).

Any other new president will certainly be filling their cabinet with supporters, but they are more likely to be able to find nominees who actually have the necessary skills and experience within that pool.

I figured some of them were brought in by Pence. Mike Pence seems to be in the Oval Office a lot for a VP.

Gold-plated darts tossed at a gold-plated dartboard.

Like everybody on the right, he hates America and wants to destroy it.

Conservatives are fifth columnists.

I think he got it at either Ikea or Crate and Barrel.

Badly. So, so badly.

I heard Trump picked Carson for HUD b/c Carson lived in public low income housing at one time .

I think he threw darts at a copy of The New York Post

Trump has stated frequently that business is being strangled by unnecessary regulations. If you’re too stupid to understand some regulations are essential, abolishing the departments issuing them seems like the most efficient way to remedy that.

Steve Bannon explained last month:

Rewarding donors was one factor. As was giving places to Trump’s more hopeless opponents–like Perry & Carson; the humiliation of Mitt Romney was an amusing sideshow. But the general badness of so many candidates was a conscious choice.

From “nepotism” to “state deconstruction”, these are all good answers. The only one I haven’t seen mentioned so far is “handpicked by Russians.” I’m thinking specifically of the Secretary of State, whom he had never met before nominating him, is an oil executive with no diplomatic experience, and is apparently an associate of Vladimir Putin. So far, I have seen no plausible explanation of this pick, other than payback to the Russians for helping him in the election, or as a blackmail demand from Russians who have damaging information on him.

So yeah, he’s filling his cabinet by nepotism, tokenism, anti-bureaucracy, and desperation, for sure. But let’s not forget treason.

Let’s not forget that in addition to hiring incompetents (DeVos & Carso) and those who actively oppose the mission and function of the department they are chosen to lead (Price & Pruitt), there is also a concerted effort to remove senior (non-elected) civil servants with many years of experience through multiple previous administrations.

Trump & his minions are as dangerous as they are stupid. And damn the GOP for tacitly standing by and supporting this fuckery.