SAU Buzz

Trump's Cabinet: Who's who

by Mary Roche
Posted on Feb 16, 2017

President Trump has been busy signing executive orders and appointing members of his staff since his January 20th inauguration. So far, his cabinet has been criticized for low qualifications, lack of diversity and possible ethical concerns. Conservatives are on board for some of his picks, but not all of them. Here’s a rundown of who is where.

At this point, many people know who Mike Pence is. Previously the governor of Indiana, the current Vice President is ultra-conservative, citing family values and faith as important parts of his life. For him, family values includes opposition to marriage equality for the LGBTQ community.

“That’s the only negative, like that’s the one thing I don’t like about him,” Leah Virzi, St. Ambrose sophomore and member of SAU Republicans, said. “Other than that, he knows what he’s doing. He’s got the credentials to be Vice President.”

Kellyanne Conway has been advising the Republican party for years, and now holds the title of Counselor to the President. Critiques about her may come from her comments about the non-existent massacre at Bowling Green or her proposal of alternative facts, offered when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed President Trump had the largest inaugural audience ever.

Supporters of her, on the other hand, are inspired by her life as a wife and mother, her success as the daughter of a single mom, and the building of her own business. According to, “She's also the first woman to lead a winning presidential campaign.”

So far, Sean Spicer has not gotten along well with the press. Since his appointment as White House Press Secretary, he has dealt with personal data leaks, arguments about facts with the press, and being made fun of on Saturday Night Live by Melissa McCarthy.

The brand new head of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, has also been in the news recently. Her appointment was approved by a tie-breaker vote, cast by VP Mike Pence. DeVos has never been to public school or sent her kids to public school, which makes some wary.

“She goes against basically everything the education system stands for,” Catherine Bettag, SAU senior and education major, said. “As a future teacher, I am nervous to work under an administration that she’s a part of.”

Other controversial topics DeVos has discussed include allowing guns in schools to protect students, and being evasive while discussing the difference between proficiency and growth.

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency is Scott Pruitt. Critics of Trump’s campaign worry about what may happen with regards to climate change under the new administration, and these worries are furthered with the appointment of Pruitt, who denies the existence of climate change.

“If you’re gonna put someone as the head of the EPA, I don’t care if you’re just trying to please conservatives,” Virzi said, “You should at least throw someone in there that’s going to be for the EPA, for environmental protection.”

Omarosa Manigault has been appointed as an assistant to the President and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She has also interacted with the President through his show, “The Apprentice,” and as his director of African American outreach during his campaign.

Trump’s Chief Strategist and Senior Adviser, Steve Bannon, has also been appointed to the National Security Council. Bannon is widely acknowledged as a member of the ‘alt-right,’which has been associated with white supremacism and anti-Semitism by NPR.

This administration may follow its party guidelines, but the appointments that have been made may speak to more conservative views than many expected.