The Republican National Committee took to Instagram Friday to tout the number of women President Donald Trump named to senior-level positions on his campaign and in his administration, but their acclaim about gender progress was not entirely correct.
“Contrary to mainstream belief, @realdonaldtrump has appointed more women to senior-level government and campaign positions than previous administrations. He’s empowering ALL Americans with his winning agenda.” The post featured images of a number of the officials as well as first lady Melania Trump and second lady Karen Pence.
However, the assertion that Trump has appointed more women to his Cabinet is false. Only 22% of his senior-level Cabinet jobs are held by women, a number far lower than those of his recent Democratic predecessors, according to a Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics report from December 2017.
Thirty percent of former President Barack Obama’s first-term Cabinet positions were held by women. That number jumped to 35% in his second term. Former President Bill Clinton’s senior-level Cabinet positions were 32% women in his first term and 41% in his second term.
There are five women currently serving in Cabinet or Cabinet-level positions in the Trump administration.
- Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
- UN Ambassador Nikki Haley
- Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon
- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (she was preceded by Elaine Duke, who served as acting secretary until Nielsen’s confirmation in December 2017)
Four other women have been appointed to high-level positions in the Trump White House:
- Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway
- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders
- Senior adviser for strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp
- Special adviser to the President Ivanka Trump
The administration recently lost deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, and White House communications director Hope Hicks has announced she will leave the administration shortly. The RNC did not immediately respond to CNN’s inquiry about its posts.
The head of the Republican National Committee is a woman – Ronna McDaniel – and Conway made history as both the first female Republican campaign manager and the first woman to successfully run a winning presidential campaign.
Trump’s numbers are more on-par with those of former President George W. Bush. He appointed four women to senior Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions in his first term and had six women serving in those positions in his second-term.