President Obama on Monday defended his record on diversity after mounting criticism over his recent Cabinet-level appointments, and hinted that additional female appointments could be coming in his next round of nominees.
"I'm very 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 at a White House press conference. "And I intended to continue that, because it turns out when you look for the very best people, given the incredible diversity of this country, you're going to end up with a diverse staff and a diverse — a diverse team, and that very diversity helps to create more effective policy making, and better decision making for me, because it brings different perspectives to the table."
January has seen the departure of a number of high-profile female members of the president's team, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle. But so far, the president has only announced three Cabinet appointments, all white men: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be secretary of State, current White House chief of staff Jack Lew to head the Treasury Department, and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of Defense. National security adviser John Brennan was also nominated as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
For more on Obama's remarks, click here.