On di­ver­sity, Trump lags pre­de­ces­sors

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Lisa Lerer and Julie Pace

wash­ing­ton » As Don­ald Trump fills out his Cab­i­net, it’s look­ing less like Amer­ica’s pop­u­la­tion and more like the world Trump has al­ways or­bited: wealthy, white, male-dom­i­nated and busi­ness-minded.

Trump, who railed against what he called “po­lit­i­cally cor­rect crap” dur­ing his no-holds-barred pres­i­den­tial campaign, is on track to cre­ate the least-di­verse Cab­i­net in a quar­ter­century.

The uni­for­mity is par­tic­u­larly strik­ing in the pres­i­dent-elect’s picks for the high­est-profile Cab­i­net and White House jobs. While he has se­lected a hand­ful of women and mi­nori­ties for lower-profile posts, his choices for the big four Cab­i­net slots — Trea­sury, State, De­fense and Jus­tice — and his top White House jobs — chief of staff, na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and se­nior ad­viser — are all white men.

So, too, will white men run the de­part­ments of Com­merce, En­ergy, Home­land Se­cu­rity and Health and Hu­man Ser­vices as well as the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency.

Should Trump be un­able to com­plete his term as pres­i­dent, the top eight peo­ple in the line of suc­ces­sion are white men from the Cab­i­net and Congress. That num­ber could grow to 12 if he picks a white man for Agri­cul­ture sec­re­tary. North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Demo­crat, is the only woman be­lieved to be in the mix.

Un­like re­cent pre­de­ces­sors in both par­ties, Trump so far has no His­pan­ics in the most prom­i­nent po­si­tions.

Based on the cur­rent top con­tenders for re­main­ing jobs, it ap­pears un­likely he’ll have a Latino in his Cab­i­net or in any top White House job.

Trump spokesman Ja­son Miller has pledged that the pres­i­dent-elect’s team will be “very broad and di­verse, both with the Cab­i­net and the ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

But Trump seems to have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties: “I want peo­ple that made a for­tune! Be­cause now they’re ne­go­ti­at­ing for you, OK?” he said, at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, last week

Even if he ap­points women or mi­nori­ties to three re­main­ing Cab­i­net-level posts — Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, Agri­cul­ture and the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get — Trump will lag be­hind the past three ad­min­is­tra­tions in cre­at­ing a de­mo­graph­i­cally di­verse White House.

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