White House

Trump’s Cabinet picks include wealthy Republicans, but most didn’t give him money

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Hershey, Pa.
FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Hershey, Pa. AP

President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet secretaries may be wealthy Republicans but they gave less money to the next president than you might think.

Nine of 30 top political appointees gave money to Trump’s campaign, super political action committees or other outside groups supporting his election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics.

The others may not have supported him or may not have thought he was going to win. They include: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, nominated for ambassador to the United Nations, Betsy DeVos, tapped for education secretary and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, chosen to be attorney general.

In total, the nine appointees and their immediate families gave $6 million to Trump and his super PACs in the 2016 election cycle. Nearly all came from WWE co-founder Linda McMahon who was selected to run the Small Business Administration. Others include Andy Puzder, labor secretary; Carl Icahn, special adviser on regulatory reform; Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary; Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary; David Friedman; ambassador to Israel; Rex Tillerson, secretary of state; Tom Price; sectary of health and human services; and Mike Pompeo, CIA director.

It’s not unusual for a president to reward top donors after an election. Still, with Trump’s pledge to “drain the swap” or rid Washington of business as usual when it comes to rewarding donors, among other things, the number is notable.

Twenty-five appointees have given money to Republicans candidates, committees and organizations between 1989-2016; 13 gave money to Democratic candidates, committees and organizations during the same time period. They have given $27.9 million to Republicans and nearly $1 million to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.