Donald Trump Has Already Broken a Promise About His Presidency

January 19th 2017

The naming of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as Donald Trump's nominee for agriculture secretary finishes up a marathon of speculation and vetting about who would be make up the Trump cabinet.

But it also breaks a promise Trump made.

In a roundtable, on-the-record interview Trump gave with the editorial board of Newsday, candidate Trump was asked by Opinion Page editor Rita Ciolli what his cabinet would look like, and whether it would be as diverse as America itself.

Ciolli: We’re trying to get a sense, would your cabinet look like America? Will there be women in there, blacks and Hispanics?

Trump: Oh absolutely. It’s so important.

Ciolli: What is the face of your administration going to look like?

Trump: My administration will be made up of every, all groups from this country and that would be women. It would be African-Americans. It would be Hispanics. It would be, I mean that’s so vital to have that. I think it’s absolutely. Now at the same time it would be the most competent people. We need the most competent people, but they’ll be the most competent people from those groups, absolutely. It’ll be made up of everybody.

In failing to honor his promise to "absolutely" include Latinos in his cabinet, Trump becomes the first president since Ronald Reagan to not have a Latino member of their cabinet coming into the White House. It was actually Reagan who broke that particular barrier, nominating Texas Democrat Lauro Cavazos as Secretary of Education in 1988.

Made up almost entirely of wealthy white men, Trump's cabinet is the least diverse in decades.

At one point in December, Trump was allegedly "desperate" to add a Latino name to his roster of secretaries, with even Newt Gingrich opining that "there has to be more Hispanics in the administration." Trump was rumored to be interviewing cabinet secretaries solely on the basis of whether they looked the part for whatever agency they were meant to lead.

The search for an agriculture secretary dragged on long past other cabinet posts, and it appears to have ended with Perdue, a former small business owner turned state senator and later governor.

All told, out of 23 cabinet and cabinet-level positions, 18 of Trump's picks were white men. This doesn't necessarily mean the lower-level positions in his administration won't be more diverse — just not the highest level.

In response to the lack of diversity in the Trump cabinet, Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed Trump is "here to serve all" and that his administration will eventually include "diversity in gender and diversity in thinking and a diversity of ideology. So, it’s not just about, you know, skin color or ethnic heritage.”

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