Trump Has More Female Advisers Than Obama, Bush, or Clinton

March 22, 2019 Updated: March 23, 2019

President Donald Trump employs more senior female advisers as part of his administration than the three former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama each had during their time in the White House.

As of the start of his third year as president, Trump had seven top female advisers, compared to five for Clinton, three for Bush, and five for Obama at similar points during their presidency.

Trump had eight as of December 2018, before United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said it was time to step aside after serving six years as the governor of South Carolina and almost two years as ambassador.

The sitting president may even have more women as key advisers in his presidency than any other president in U.S. history, according to the Washington Examiner, who cited the low numbers of female senior presidential advisers before Clinton’s reign.

President Donald Trump stands alongside Gina Haspel before she is sworn-in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during a ceremony at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, May 21, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The seven advisers in the Trump administration are White House press secretary Sarah Sanders; counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway; CIA Director Gina Haspel, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, senior adviser Ivanka Trump, Director of Legislative Affairs Shahira Knight, and Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp.

The women selected in the comparison between Trump and the previous administrations were based on the power and influence they held with the president, not just their formal titles. The Examiner, for example, did not include Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in their list.

Although Trump hired a number of women into senior positions in his cabinet and in the West Wing during his first year as president he received little media coverage about it, according to The Hill. The number of top female advisers in the Trump administration may reportedly continue to grow in the near future.

United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen, center, administers the oath of citizenship to five people as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Jan. 19, 2019. (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

In February, Trump nominated Kelly Craft, currently the U.S. ambassador to Canada, to replace Haley as his envoy to the United Nations after a four-month search. Craft, a top Republican donor from Kentucky, rose as a serious contender for the post based on a recommendation by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentuckian.

In early March, the Justice Department said that Trump plans to nominate Jessie Liu, the current U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, to serve in the third-ranking post at the Justice Department. Liu would serve as associate attorney general if she gets confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The job involves overseeing the department’s civil litigation, including antitrust matters, civil rights, and environmental law.

During the ceremony for the International Women of Courage Awards in early March, First lady Melania Trump noted the record number of female lawmakers in Washington and the historic unemployment levels for women—the lowest level in 65 years.

White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp speaks to members of the media on the driveway outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington on Jan. 3, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“This is something to celebrate,” the first lady told the crowd as she made reference to the 2 million more women working today than in November 2016.

Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp told the Examiner that the president “surrounds himself with very strong women with strong voices” who give him advice on a range of policy areas, such as the economy, education, and trade.

“We all have a seat at the table,” she added.

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