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The judges wish to acknowledge the many atrocious candidates not receiving nominations, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

The Trumpy Awards, Round Six: Worst Cabinet Member

Today's nominees certainly do represent the worst of the Trump administration.

Robert Weissman

Today’s Trumpys are the second set of nominees for Worst Cabinet Member, following yesterday’s consideration of Mick Mulvaney, Ryan Zinke, Gary Cohn and Jeff Sessions.

The judges wish to acknowledge the many atrocious candidates not receiving nominations, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

Today’s nominees, however, certainly do represent the worst of the Trump administration.

You can vote for the worst of this motley crew here.

Rex Tillerson

Secretary of State: “Making a Great Case for Himself as the Worst Secretary of State in Modern History.

Lots of people are making the exact point in that quote, not just Slate, from which the headline is borrowed.

  1. Gutting and demoralizing diplomatic corps.
  2. Says human rights advocacy “creates obstacles” to advancing U.S. interests.
  3. With the White House, reimposed and expanded the global gag rule, denying U.S. aid funding to overseas nongovernmental health organizations unless they stipulate they will not talk to patients about abortion options.

On the positive side of the ledger for Tillerson, he reportedly has called Trump a “moron.”

Betsy DeVos

Secretary of Education: “There’s Probably a Gun in the School to Protect from Potential Grizzlies

 Blocked implementation of rules designed to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges.

  1. Pushing for privatization of public schools by shifting resources from public to private schools, and refusing to commit that those schools should abide by anti-discrimination rules.
    Rolled back protections for disabled students.

Tom Price/Empty/Alex Azar

Secretary of Health and Human Services: “Tom Price Sure Knows A Lot About Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Secretary Tom Price was famously forced out of office after racking up more than $1 million in flight expenses in a matter of months. The Senate just confirmed Alex Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive, to take the post.

  1. Price sought – and there’s every reason to expect Azar to continue to seek – to gut Medicaid expansion and the protections of the Affordable Care Act.
  2. Threatening birth control and reproductive health programs.
  3. Enacting Big Pharma’s coup over health policy by installing a former drug company executive (Azar) as the nation’s top health official.

Scott Pruitt

Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “What they’re doing is conscientiously tearing the place down” … “Mindless. There’s no other word for it.

Those quotes are from former EPA administrators, Carol Browner (under Bill Clinton) and Christine Todd Whitman (under George W. Bush)

  1. Repealing the Clean Power Plan – and claiming it as an environmental achievement – and engineering the U.S. announced withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
  2. Rolling back 19 public health and environmental rules, covering everything from clean water to chemical safety.
  3. Meeting with Dirty Energy and industry interests almost 20 times more frequently than environmental organizations.

Which of these characters should be named Worst Cabinet Official? Vote here.

And don’t to forget to vote for:

Yesterday’s entry for Worst Cabinet Official.

Worst Corporate Giveaway.

Cruelest Action.

Worst Corrupting Conflict of Interest.

Worst Assault on Democracy.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Weissman was formerly director of Essential Action, editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks corporate actions worldwide, and a public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He was a leader in organizing the 2000 IMF and World Bank protests in D.C. and helped make HIV drugs available to the developing world.

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