Liberal Dems: Trump filling Cabinet with 'stooges'

Liberal Dems: Trump filling Cabinet with 'stooges'
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Liberal House Democrats are trashing Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE's Cabinet picks as an unqualified group of "misfit" plutocrats hell-bent on tearing down the agencies they've been tapped to lead.

At a press briefing in the Capitol, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) warned that Trump’s nominees would dismantle federal programs under their dominion at the expense of the working class.

"With only a few exceptions, the individuals that President-Elect Trump has appointed is the greatest collection of stooges and cronies and misfits we have ever seen in a presidential administration," said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.). "Some of these people's only qualifications for the jobs they are being appointed for is that they have attempted to dismantle and undermine and destroy the very agencies they are now hoping to run."

Other CPC members piled on, naming a long list of nominees they see as either unfit, dangerous, or both.

"Rather than draining the swamp, he is now filling it up with hungry crocodiles," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).  

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the selection of Betsy DeVos, a billionaire activist nominated to lead the Department of Education, signals that Trump "intends to hollow out public education in pursuit of a privatization agenda."

"I support charter schools, but we should not create a private education system that exploits some children and benefits others," DeLauro said. DeVos, she warned, sees education "not as a public good, but as an industry." 

Schakowsky hammered Steven Mnuchin, a billionaire financier nominated for Treasury Secretary, as "the Goldman Sachs golden boy and foreclosure king who profited off of thousands of people losing their homes." 

She also minced no words in assailing Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHomeland Security advisory council members resign over family separations: report Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Ryan: 'The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally' MORE, an Alabama Republican tapped by Trump to lead the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

"Sen. Sessions history of racism, xenophobia, homophobia and attacks on civil and voting rights is lengthy and well documented," Schakowsky charged. "He is the embodiment of division — the direct opposite of a unifying figure." 

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Live coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry MORE (D-Texas), who's also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), echoed those reservations with the Sessions pick. He "may be a nice fellow," she said, "but one's record and deeds evidence how you will govern."  

"You have to be pure in your sense that justice is above politics," she said.  

The liberal Democrats also warned that Ben Carson, a celebrated neurosurgeon nominated to become Trump's housing chief, "is dangerously under-qualified," in the words of Schakowsky. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump's pick to head the Health and Human Services Department, is also in the liberals’ sights for promoting long-held GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare and privatize Medicare.

Price, Jackson Lee said, "clearly wants to dismantle and implode a safety net for millions of Americans." 

Huffman voiced no lack of disdain for the news media, which he accused of focusing too intently on Trump's every tweet, in lieu of the overarching policy and personnel decisions that will form the backbone of his administration.

"We need the media to stop taking the bait," he said. "Anytime we're spending two, three days talking about some non-sequitur tweet from the president-elect, we're not doing our job. And the media's not playing its important role in what's left of this democracy."