Trump’s picks so far :
Betsy DeVos, education secretary. Daughter-in-law of Richard DeVos who I got to know well because he was a major donor to the anti-abortion film series I made with my father, co-founder of marketing company Amway. (You can read all about my DeVos connection in my memoir Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. The family has a net worth of $5.1bn, according to Forbes. Her lobbying for school vouchers has been criticized for undermining public sector schools (which critics note neither she nor her children attended). DeVos’s brother is Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, a private security contractor notorious for its lucrative and deadly role in the Iraq war.
Elaine Chao, transport secretary. Daughter of a shipping magnate, she made more than $1m from serving on the boards of News Corp, Wells Fargo, Ingersoll Rand and Vulcan Materials in 2015, public records show. Chao was in Bush’s cabinet and is married to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, whose net worth in 2014 was $22m, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary. Studied at Yale, where he reportedly drove a Porsche, and followed in his father’s footsteps to work at Goldman Sachs, where his stake was worth a reported $46m when he left in 2002.
Politico is reporting that Steve Mnuchin’s bank foreclosed on the house of a 90-year-old Florida woman on account of a 27-cent error.
The report indicates that OneWest, a bank that was established by Mnuchin, foreclosed on the house of Ossie Lofton in 2014. Lofton had taken out a reverse mortgage and a subsidiary of OneWest sent the woman a bill for $423.30. Lofton mailed a check for $423 and then a check for 3 cents. Donald Trump‘s treasury secretary nominee, and his partners, then filed for foreclosure on her house.
Florida Rural Legal Services recently requested a jury trial on the matter. The Politico report quotes Lynn Drysdale, a lawyer representing Lofton, who calls the bank’s actions “criminal.”
Read the entire report, which details a history of predatory behavior, on Politcio’s website.
Mnuchin started his own hedge fund and financed Hollywood films. Mnuchin reportedly profited from the 2008 housing crash after buying the IndyMac bank hit by losses on risky mortgages with US government help. Also served as the Trump campaign’s finance chairman. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said: “This isn’t draining the swamp — it’s stocking it with alligators.”
Tom Price, health secretary. Orthopaedic surgeon staunchly opposed to Obamacare. Six-term Republican congressman ranks 44th in the House with an estimated net worth of $13.6m in 2014, according to OpenSecrets.org.Todd Ricketts, deputy commerce secretary. Family is worth an estimated $5.3bn, according to Forbes, having made their fortune through a discount brokerage that processes 400,000 transactions per day. Co-owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary. Net worth of $2.9bn, according to Forbes. Dubbed a “vulture” and “king of bankruptcy” because of his knack for extracting a profit from failing businesses. Helped Trump keep control of his failing Taj Mahal casino in the 1990s by persuading investors not to push him out. An explosion at a mine in West Virginia, which his company had bought a few weeks earlier, killed 12 miners in 2002.
Jeff Sessions, attorney general. From Alabama and known for hardline stance on immigration. Ranks 25th in the Senate with an estimated net worth of $7.5m in 2014, according to opensecrets.org.
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and close adviser. Property tycoon, publisher and multimillionaire. Went to Harvard, allegedly after his father, a developer, donated $2.5m to the university. At age 26 he bought an office building on Fifth Avenue for a record $1.8bn. Masterminded Trump’s astounding election win with a “stealth data machine”.
Steve Bannon, chief strategist. Studied at Harvard and worked at Goldman Sachs for four years. Believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars, in part from his stake in royalties from the TV show Seinfeld. Executive chairman of Breitbart News, he is described by critics as a white nationalist, a charge he denies.
Under consideration for cabinet
Mitt Romney, potential secretary of state. Private equity investor. During the 2012 election campaign, when he was the Republican nominee, Romney estimated his personal fortune at $250m. Barack Obama described him at the time as a “vulture capitalist”.
Rudy Giuliani, another potential secretary of state. Lawyer and former New York mayor reported to be worth tens of millions of dollars. His complex web of foreign connections might cost him the job.
Ben Carson, tipped for housing secretary. The retired neurosurgeon has an estimated fortune of $26m.