It’s Been a Week From Hell for Trump’s Cabinet, and It’s Only Wednesday

Jeff Sessions isn’t the only Cabinet member who’s had a rough go of it.

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

In a speech to the Boy Scout Jamboree on Monday, President Donald Trump had some fun at the expense of his Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. “He better get the votes,” Trump said, referring to the ongoing congressional deliberations on repealing the Affordable Care Act. “Otherwise I will say, ‘Tom, you’re fired!'”

For now, the repeal effort is still chugging along, and Price’s seat isn’t especially hot. But the same can’t be said for his fellow Cabinet members. Here’s a quick guide to the Trump Cabinet’s week from hell:

Jeff Sessions: Despite having been one of Trump’s first and most loyal supporters, the attorney general was put on notice when Trump ripped into him on Twitter and told the New York Times that he would never have appointed Sessions if he’d known the Alabaman was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump has reportedly flirted with firing him for days, but Sessions has thus far refused to resign.

Rex Tillerson: On Monday, Politico reported that the secretary of state was considering an early exit from his job after repeatedly clashing with White House aides. When Trump addressed the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia that same day, he regaled members of the organization Tillerson once led with a story about a millionaire friend who held orgies on a yacht. Although fellow Eagle Scouts Ryan Zinke and Energy Secretary Rick Perry were along for the trip, Tillerson was a notable no-show; a spokesman explained that “he’s entitled to take a few days himself.” But it could have been worse: Last week’s story that the Treasury Department had fined Exxon-Mobil $2 million for violating Russian sanctions while Tillerson was CEO mostly flitted under the radar.

James Mattis: The former Marine general running the Department of Defense was conspicuously on vacation when Trump announced, on Twitter, that he was reinstating a ban on transgender Americans serving in the military. Mattis testified at his confirmation hearings that he did not intend to bring back the ban, and his department’s press office was reportedly blindsided by Trump’s announcement.

Rick Perry: On Tuesday, the Department of Energy confirmed that the former Texas governor had recently conducted a 22-minute phone call with two Russian pranksters he mistakenly believed to be the prime minister of Ukraine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp_nSKTyOZE

But while Trump’s Cabinet members are having a bad week, it could always be worse—they could be rounded up by government agents or die of a preventable condition because they were unable to get health insurance.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate