“The Best People”: Keeping Up with Donald Trump’s Staff Picks

Some of them appear not to be the best candidates.

Donald Trump may officially be our president, but many of the people he’s nominated for top positions are still working their way through the system. Here, we’ll keep tabs on their confirmation status as well as any interesting/obviously disqualifying things they’ve said or done.

TREASURY SECRETARY: STEVEN MNUCHIN
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/8fvg0q/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness–treasury-secretary-nominee-steven-mnuchin
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• He’s a former Goldman Sachs partner.
• He produced a bunch of not-so-great movies, to put it mildly. (“Jupiter Ascending,” anyone?)
• You really want to say his name is “Munchkin.”

Confirmed?

He’s pretty “swampy” (Mnuchin has been a major Wall Street player for years), but he made it through the confirmation process nonetheless. Senator Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to vote in favor, though.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: JEFF SESSIONS

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/oy7ohb/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—attorney-general-nominee-jeff-sessions
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• He found common ground with Trump during the campaign because they’ve both expressed anti-immigration views.
• He’s received his fair share of flack for opposing voting rights laws, not to mention reportedly using the N-word and joking about liking the KKK.
• His real, actual, not-made-up full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

Confirmed?

It was a contentious process that reached a head when Republicans silenced Senator Elizabeth Warren for impugning Sessions on the Senate floor. Sessions ultimately made it through, though almost every Democratic senator voted against him, save Joe Manchin from West Virginia.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: MICHAEL FLYNN

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/04mvpw/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—national-security-adviser-michael-flynn
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• President Obama fired him for incompetence.
• He has a history of leaking classified information and supporting conspiracy theories.
• He’s very active on social media, especially when it comes to retweeting anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and xenophobic garbage.
• He spouts hyperbolic, untrue statements so frequently that people have nicknamed them “Flynn facts.”

Confirmed?

He didn’t need to be, but it doesn’t matter now, does it?

HUD SECRETARY: BEN CARSON
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/fxfeov/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—hud-secretary-nominee-ben-carson
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• He has no experience dealing with housing issues.
• He also expressed doubts about his own ability to run a federal agency, so this should be interesting.

Confirmed?

He’s been cleared by the relevant committee, so he will probably make it through the full Senate vote.

SECRETARY OF STATE: REX TILLERSON
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/su731q/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—secretary-of-state-nominee-rex-tillerson
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• He’s not Mitt Romney.
• He was the CEO of ExxonMobil, a giant oil corporation.
• He’s such good friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Putin gave him a friendship medal.

Confirmed?

The Senate made it official, but it was close. Tillerson cleared the full body by a vote of 56-43, with only a handful of Democrats crossing party lines to confirm him.

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: BETSY DeVOS
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/fojsfk/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—secretary-of-education-nominee-betsy-devos
What can Trevor tell us about her?

• She wants to spend taxpayer dollars on private schools without requiring equal levels of accountability.
• She didn’t stand up to scrutiny during Senator Al Franken’s questioning in committee hearings even a little bit.
• She thinks schools should maybe have guns because of grizzly bears.

Confirmed?

It was a nail-biter as Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins announced that they would vote against DeVos. In spite of this, she was confirmed by the full Senate after Vice President Pence served as a tiebreaker — the first time ever that a VP has done so in a cabinet confirmation vote.

PRESS SECRETARY: SEAN SPICER
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ifsa0m/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-profiles-in-tremendousness—white-house-press-secretary-sean-spicer
What can Trevor tell us about him?

• He used to work for Reince Priebus.
• His college newspaper called him “Sean Sphincter.”
• He hates Dippin’ Dots with a fiery passion and swallows his gum.

Confirmed?

This isn’t a cabinet position, so Spicer’s already started working. It turns out that defending Trump’s claims is a tough job.