President-elect Donald Trump boasted about his wealth during his campaign. Now he’s surrounding himself with people who have similarly unimaginable riches.
Collectively, the wealth of his Cabinet choices so far is roughly four times greater than President Obama’s Cabinet and nearly 30 times greater than the one George W. Bush led at the end of his presidency.
And Trump has named less than half the group of advisers so far.
The net worth of the Cabinet Trump had selected as of Thursday was at least $11 billion, based on available estimates, or more than the annual gross domestic product of about 50 small countries.
That included the $3.7 billion Trump is estimated to be worth, according to Forbes. (Trump has claimed to be worth much more — around $10 billion.)
It also included the $5.1 billion in net worth that Forbes estimated belongs to the family of Betsy DeVos, the former Michigan Republican Party chair and education activist selected to be education secretary.
Investor Wilbur Ross, picked to become commerce secretary, is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Steven Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs executive in line to become Treasury secretary, is worth at least $46 million, according to Politico.
The pick for transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary, was worth an estimated $16.9 million as of 2008, when she last held public office, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks campaign finance data.
Two other Cabinet picks — Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Georgia Representative Tom Price for health and human services secretary — were estimated to be worth about $7.5 million and $13.6 million, respectively, as of 2014, according to the center.
One of the least wealthy members of the Cabinet was actually Trump’s running mate. Vice President-elect Mike Pence was worth about $211,000 as of 2012, data from the center show.
|Cabinet position||Name||Estimated net worth|
|Education Secretary||Betsy DeVos||$5.1 billion|
|President||Donald Trump||$3.7 billion|
|Commerce Secretary||Wilbur Ross||$2.5 billion|
|Treasury Secretary||Steven Mnuchin||$46 million|
|Transportation Secretary||Elaine Chao||$16.9 million|
|Health and Human Services Secretary||Tom Price||$13.6 million|
|Attorney General||Jeff Sessions||$7.5 million|
|Vice President||Mike Pence||$211,000|
|Secretary of Defense||James Mattis||NA|
|*Chief of Staff||Reince Priebus||NA|
|*U.N. Ambassador||Nikki R. Haley||NA|
Other wealthy people may also soon join Trump’s Cabinet.
One potential pick, oil and gas company executive Harold Hamm, who is said to be in the running for energy secretary or interior secretary, is worth an estimated $16.9 billion, according to Forbes.
Mitt Romney, said to be in the running to become secretary of state, was estimated to be worth about $250 million as of 2012.
Ben Carson, a potential pick for housing and urban development secretary, was worth $26 million as of 2015, according to Forbes.
Another contender for multiple Cabinet spots, Rudy Giuliani, is a multimillionaire, as is Andrew Puzder, who is said to be in the running to become labor secretary.
By comparison, the collective estimated net worth of Obama’s entire current Cabinet is less than $3 billion, according to available estimates. And the vast majority of that wealth is held by just one member, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who is worth $2.4 billion, according to Forbes.
The Cabinet that served Bush at the end of his presidency was worth about $390 million collectively.
The figures above consider only the presidents and their official Cabinet members and officials holding “cabinet-rank” positions.
The calculations do not consider other important presidential appointments.
If they did, the collective net worth of Trump’s Cabinet would grow by at least $5.3 billion. That’s what Forbes estimates Todd Ricketts and his family are worth. The Chicago Cubs co-owner has been picked to serve as deputy commerce secretary.
Another key appointment, former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who will be Trump’s chief strategist, is a multimillionaire, according to Politico.
Trump’s affluent Cabinet picks are, in some ways, not surprising. He touted his own wealth and business experience as being key attributes that qualified him to be president and would help him boost the country’s economy. He also regularly stressed that he wanted to upend the existing political establishment.
But Trump’s critics have said the picks represent a departure from his anti-Wall Street rhetoric during the campaign, and they’re out of touch with the working-class Americans whom he vowed to champion during the campaign.
Last updated: Jan. 18.
|Official Cabinet positions (in order of succession to the presidency)|
|Vice President||Mike Pence||Governor, Indiana|
|Secretary of State||Rex Tillerson||Exxon Mobil CEO|
|Treasury Secretary||Steven Mnuchin||Former Goldman Sachs executive|
|Defense Secretary||James Mattis||Retired Marine general|
|Attorney General||Jeff Sessions||U.S. Senator, Alabama|
|Interior Secretary||Ryan Zinke||U.S. Representative, Montana|
|Agriculture Secretary||Sonny Perdue||Former Georgia governor|
|Commerce Secretary||Wilbur Ross||Investor|
|Labor Secretary||Andrew Puzder||Fast-food executive|
|Health and Human Services Secretary||Tom Price||U.S. Representative, Georgia|
|Housing and Urban Development Secretary||Ben Carson||Retired neurosurgeon, presidential candidate|
|Transportation Secretary||Elaine Chao||Former Labor secretary|
|Energy Secretary||Rick Perry||Former Texas governor, presidential candidate|
|Education Secretary||Betsy DeVos||Former chair Michigan Republican Party, education activist|
|Veterans Affairs Secretary||David Shulkin||Physician, under secretary of Veterans Affairs|
|Homeland Security Secretary||John F. Kelly||Retired Marine general|
|Chief of Staff||Reince Priebus||RNC chairman|
|EPA Administrator||Scott Pruitt||Oklahoma attorney general|
|Office of Management and Budget Director||Mick Mulvaney||U.S. Representative, South Carolina|
|U.S. Trade Representative||Robert Lighthizer||Lawyer, deputy trade representative during Reagan administration|
|U.N. Ambassador||Nikki R. Haley||Governor, South Carolina|
|Council of Economic Advisers Chair||-||-|
|Small Business Administrator||Linda McMahon||Former WWE executive, U.S. Senate candidate|
|Other key appointments|
|Chief Strategist||Steve Bannon||Former head of Breitbart News|
|White House Counsel||Donald McGahn||Lawyer, former chair of Federal Election Commission|
|Senior Policy Advisor||Stephen Miller||Trump campaign policy adviser, aide to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions|
|CIA Director||Mike Pompeo||U.S. Representative, Kansas|
|National Security Adviser||Mike Flynn||Retired lieutenant general|
|Deputy National Security Adviser||Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland||Fox News analyst, Reagan administration official|
|National Intelligence Director||Dan Coats||Former Senator, Indiana|
|Deputy Commerce Secretary||Todd Ricketts||Co-owner Chicago Cubs|
|National Economic Council Director||Gary Cohn||Goldman Sachs president|
|Army Secretary||Vincent Viola||Wall Street executive, Florida Panthers owner, Army veteran|
|National Trade Council Leader||Peter Navarro||Economics and public policy professor, Trump campaign adviser|
|Regulatory Reform Advisor||Carl Icahn||Investor|
|Counselor to the President||Kellyanne Conway||Trump campaign manager|
|Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser||Thomas Bossert||President of CDS Consulting firm, former homeland security adviser to President George W. Bush|
|Special Representative for International Negotiations||Jason Greenblatt||Trump Organization executive vice president and chief legal officer|
|Securities and Exchange Commission Chair||Jay Clayton||Wall Street lawyer|
|Senior Advisor||Jared Kushner||CEO of Kushner Companies, Trump's son-in-law|
|Cybersecurity Advisor||Rudy Giuliani||Former New York City mayor|
|Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives||Dina Powell||Goldman Sachs executive, served in George W. Bush administration|