Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer in his first news briefing pushed back against questions about the level of diversity in President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE's Cabinet.
“I think if we look at the totality of his administration, the people that he’s talked to, the people that he’s met with, the people that he’s appointed, you see a president who is committed to uniting this country and bringing the best and the brightest together,” Spicer told reporters Thursday morning.
Spicer’s defense comes after a report that Trump’s Cabinet will be the first since 1988 without a Hispanic member. Trump on Thursday officially announced his selection of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the Agriculture Department, filling the last spot in his Cabinet.
Trump had met with two Hispanic candidates for the Agriculture position: Elsa Murano, a former Agriculture undersecretary for food safety, and former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Former Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) also was reportedly under consideration.
As Spicer rattled off the names of Cabinet nominees Elaine Chao, Ben Carson and Nikki Haley, he turned to Carson, who was sitting in on the briefing along with other transition team members.
Carson, who is African-American, was selected to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Chao, who is Taiwanese-American, is Trump's choice for Transportation secretary. Haley, who is Indian-American, was named to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. All three nominees have already had their confirmation hearings before the respective Senate committees.
“I think that what you’re seeing and what you’re going to continue seeing, not just through the Cabinet but through the entire thing, is the ... diversity in thinking, and diversity of ideology ... so it’s not just about skin color or ethnic heritage,” Spicer said.
Spicer also pointed to the open roles that still need to be filled for White House staff and the other jobs at federal agencies.
“We’ve got 5,000 jobs to fill, there’s going to be a tremendous number of Hispanic Americans to fill those posts. I caution Americans to stay tuned.”