Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick to be treasury Secretary, failed to list $100 million in assets on his federal disclosure forms. Vincent Viola, nominated to be Army secretary, punched a man in the face at a horse race last summer.
The ex-wife of Andrew Puzder, the labor secretary nominee, once appeared incognito on “Oprah” to raise domestic abuse allegations, which Puzder has denied. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s choice for education secretary, struggled to demonstrate a basic comprehension of department policy and basic education terms during her hearing this week. Two nominees didn’t pay taxes on their household employees.
This string of startling revelations over the past two weeks caught senior members of Trump’s staff by surprise, and they didn’t know some of the potential for problems before Senate confirmation hearings began, sources said. A person involved in preparing several nominees said, “They nominated these people first, and then they sort of vetted them. It’s exactly the reverse way you’re supposed to do it, and now you see the consequences.”