Of all of Team Trump’s actions in office, their predilection for hiring on husbands and wives and sons and daughters and cousins and what-have-you is probably the least surprising.
A Daily Beast examination of public records reveals that there are at least 20 families, joined by either blood or marriage, in which multiple members hold some federal post or appointment. They include the families of some of Trump’s most prominent campaign supporters and agency officials, including one cabinet officer. The posts range from senior White House staff to more ceremonial and advisory positions.
As one key example, the Beast uses the DeVos family. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, her husband, and her sister-in-law all landed their own posts; brother Erik Prince also is able to catch the president’s ear. The same story exists throughout the Trump administration, because the word of the day is nepotism.
But this is not terribly surprising, right? From the outset, Donald Trump claimed he would staff the government with “all the best people.” But Donald Trump doesn’t know the best people. Donald Trump has rarely if ever been in the same zip code as the best people; the best people have avoided Donald Trump all his life. Donald Trump knows wealthy assholes. Donald Trump knows sycophants. That’s it.
If Jared Kushner had not married into the Trump family, he would be lucky to be able to visit the White House as part of a tour group. If name-any-particular-member-of-the-administration was not either personally very rich or the longtime policy servant of someone who is very rich, they would not be there. The Trump administration is staffed by people Donald has met at his club, who themselves hired on the people they met at their own clubs, and so forth. It’s a big, happy family of folks who have achieved personal success and who, therefore, presume themselves to be geniuses.
Of course they’re only going to hire family members and other rich people. If they set out to hire qualified, experienced, and knowledgable subordinates, how would they even know how to find them?