Senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett on Sunday predicted more minorities and women would be tapped for positions in the president’s Cabinet.


“His Cabinet, when he's finished — and he's far from finished — will have diversity, including women, including people of color,” said Jarrett in an interview with CNN.

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“He believes he makes his best decisions when he is surrounded by people who have different perspectives and give him their best ideas,” she continued. “And so, one picture does not speak a thousand words, in this instance. I spent a lot of time in the Oval Office, and I'm in there with a great number of women whom he listens to, and whose counsel and advice he trusts greatly.”

The White House has faced scrutiny over an alleged lack of diversity among President Obama’s top advisers, prompted by a New York Times report earlier this month questioning the “all-male look” of Obama’s inner circle. A photo accompanying the report showed Obama consulting a number of white men. 

Those questions have intensified with Obama’s senior-most Cabinet nominations, including former Sen. Chuck HagelChuck HagelLobbying World The US just attacked Syria. So where's Congress? Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal MORE (R-Neb.) for Defense secretary, Sen. John KerryJohn KerryFrustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response Budowsky: Dems madder than hell Tillerson: 'My view didn’t change' on Paris climate agreement MORE (D-Mass.) for secretary of State and Chief of Staff Jack LewJack LewWhite House divide may derail needed China trade reform 3 unconventional ways Trump can tackle the national debt One year later, the Iran nuclear deal is a success by any measure MORE for Treasury secretary.

Those nominations have come amid a number of high-profile second-term exits of female Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump notes 'election meddling by Russia' in tweet criticizing Obama Former Obama advisor calls Fox ‘state sanctioned media’ Biden rips Senate GOP healthcare bill, says it 'isn't about healthcare' MORE, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

In a press conference last week, Obama rejected charges that he had neglected diversity, saying that he was “proud that in the first four years, we had as diverse, if not a more diverse, White House and a Cabinet than any in history.”

Obama said his critics should “wait until they've seen all my appointments, who is in the White House staff and who is in my Cabinet, before they rush to judgment."

On Sunday, Jarrett said that the president had a strong track record of appointing women to key positions in his administration.

“The president has been surrounded by strong women throughout his entire life. Raised by a single mom, lived for a while with his grandmother, who was a great role model for him. Obviously, married to a very competent wife, and his first Cabinet reflected the diversity of our country,” said Jarrett. “He put women in charge of key initiatives, such as Nancy Ann DeParle, his deputy chief of staff, who helped craft the Affordable Care Act, and now Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusAligning clinical and community resources improves health Sebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' Obama's health secretary to be first female president of American University MORE is implementing it.”