Trump’s history with women is complicated, but he trusts them to help run the country
If President Donald Trump is a sexist, among the many other “-isms” he is guilty of according to his critics, he’s not very good at it.
His daughter Ivanka has held a prominent administration advisory post since the start. Since Sean Spicer’s disastrous reign as chief White House spokesperson ended in 2017 after just six months, Trump has hired three consecutive women to speak for his office. The president appointed Gina Haspel as the first woman to run the CIA. Dr. Deborah Birx was the co-director of the task force fighting the coronavirus. In 2018 The Atlantic sniffed about the “very male Trump administration.” Yet according to Rutgers University, 26 percent of Trump appointees to cabinet-level jobs are in the ballpark of the 30 percent President Barack Obama named in his first term.
Trump recently scored another first in this realm, as The Federalist reported on Wednesday:
“For the first time in history, half of the senior leaders of the National Security Council are women. Twelve of the 24 directorates are led by women now, including three of the six regional directorates that cover the world.
“While the White House press corps has not yet noticed that fact, and Vanity Fair didn’t have Annie Leibovitz come do a photo shoot, as would have been obligatory in the previous administration, women in the White House noticed and appreciated the historic first.”
The Federalist’s report came after National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien recently completed his plan to whittle down the size of the panel, which had bloated under Obama. O’Brien slashed the NSC staff from 240 people to 105.
In a statement, O’Brien noted, “Under President Trump’s leadership, over the past nine months we have brought the NSC back to its proper size and role as a lean and efficient advisory body, and we were able to make that happen because we have some of the strongest leaders in the history of the NSC, half of whom are women for the first time ever.”
This is not something new for Trump.
The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times, in a May 2016 article intended to slam Trump as a cad for the allegations of his bad behavior toward some women, still acknowledged that Trump “promoted several (women) to the loftiest heights of his company, a daring move for a major real estate developer at the time.”
No one can pretend that Trump’s history with women is not checkered with unseemly or even disgusting behavior. But there is more to the story. As the Times reported in that article four years ago, “He could be lewd one moment and gentlemanly the next.”
As shown by his handling of the National Security Council, his choices of communicating the administration’s policies to the nation or his selection of top scientific people, Trump has routinely trusted women with critical roles to help guide the country.
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