Trump Cabinet will be first in decades without Hispanic member: report

Trump Cabinet will be first in decades without Hispanic member: report
© Getty

President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Scaramucci let his passion get the best of him OPINION | Michael Steele: Yes, GOP will own ObamaCare failure Overnight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks MORE’s Cabinet appears set to be the first since 1988 without a Hispanic member, according to a new report.

Hispanic groups are displeased that Trump ignored their community when making his final Cabinet-level appointment, The Dallas Morning News said Wednesday.

"We’re extremely worried,” Hector Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, an umbrella group of 40 advocacy organizations, told the paper. "This is anti-democratic.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“Trump has not only been the most anti-Latino, anti-immigrant president in the history of the nation, [but] by not including Latinos in his Cabinet, he is just showing how he plans to govern."

The executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected Officials, meanwhile, said Trump’s Cabinet reflects his ignorance of Hispanic leaders.

“The most obvious thing it means to me is that he doesn’t know Latinos,” Arturo Vargas told The Dallas Morning News. "He himself and his team don’t know who the Latino leaders are. What this does is it makes our job as advocates for the Hispanic community infinitely harder."

The Hill reported late Wednesday that Trump will pick former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) to be Agriculture secretary, according to a source familiar with deliberations over the pick.

Trump’s team is expected to officially tap Perdue Thursday, the day before the president-elect’s inauguration. 

Reports emerged last month that Trump’s team considered the Agriculture slot the most likely for a Hispanic Cabinet appointment.

Trump purportedly met with two Hispanic candidates for the role: Elsa Murano, a former Agriculture undersecretary for food safety, and Abel Maldonado, a former California lieutenant governor and the current co-owner of Runway Vineyards.

The Morning News listed former Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) as another possibility on Wednesday. 

Trump’s incoming White House press secretary said the president-elect’s Cabinet choices are based on merit.

“[Trump] has continued to seek out the best and brightest to fill out his Cabinet,” Sean Spicer told the Morning News. "I don’t have any concern about diversity.”

“We have 5,000 positions, and I think you’re going to see a very strong presence of the Hispanic community,” he added, referencing senior administration appointments and White House staff.

During the campaign, Trump angered many with his rhetoric about Mexican immigrants and his proposal to build a wall on the southern border. 

— This report was updated on Jan. 19 at 7:54 a.m.