Trump's Cabinet of Billionaires operates in unprecedented (and illegal) secrecy

Eight of Trump's 17 cabinet secretaries do not release any information about their travel schedules — a standard practice under the Obama and GW Bush administrations; 4 others only release incomplete, "sporadic" information; Treasury only started releasing Munichin's schedule in November and six departments illegally withhold details on who their cabinet secretaries meet with (two released some information after being sued).

Politico's detailed investigation revealed that the secretaries who release incomplete schedules generally do so in order to suppress public records of their meetings and speeches to industry groups that they are nominally in charge of regulating.

For some of Trump's Cabinet appointees, who include wealthy business executives with little exposure to the often-harsh scrutiny of public life, secrecy may be less about hiding a policy agenda than about discomfort with the spotlight.

DeVos, the billionaire charter-school activist who never before held public office, puts some of her events on social media but leaves them out of her department's official communications with the news media.

People following her online might have known she had met with the Saudi education minister in October — based on a photo she posted on Flickr — but the department never issued any information about it or said what they had discussed. The state-run Saudi Press Agency was more forthcoming, disclosing that the leaders had talked about "the importance of educational cooperation" between their countries' universities.

In November, DeVos visited Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where she said in a later post on Instagram that she learned about education for the deaf and hard of hearing. The Education Department issued no advisories before or after the event.

Where is Trump's Cabinet? It's anybody's guess. [Emily Holden/Politico]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Department of Education)