President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign on promises to "drain the swamp" and to fight for working Americans, but he has come under fire lately for naming super rich people to his cabinet. Trump defended his actions on Dec. 8 during a victory rally in Iowa (video below).
Trump's wealthy cabinet members include Amway family billionaire Betsy DeVos for secretary of education, bank billionaire Steve Mnuchin for secretary of the treasury, and billionaire Wilbur Ross for secretary of commerce, notes Mediaite.com.
Trump also tapped CKE Restaurants (Carl's Jr. and Hardee's) CEO Andy Puzder to head the Labor Department, and former WWE pro-wrestling executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.
Trump gushed over his wealthy picks, and told the cheering crowd that his rich cabinet was going to be helping them:
By the way, some of the people I've put on to negotiate, you've been noticing, are some of the most successful people in the world. And one newspaper criticized me, "Why can't they have people of modest means?" Because I want people that made a fortune! Because now they’re negotiating with you!
As the crowd cheered, Trump did not mention that Puzder has a long history of opposing minimum wage hikes and overtime pay, and supports replacing workers at CKE restaurants with automated machinery, according to a recent report by Mother Jones.
CKE is scheduled to be in court Dec. 14 for a class-action lawsuit for "allegedly failing to pay its general managers overtime, even while requiring them to be on call 24 hours a day." CKE previously settled for $9 million in 2004 after being accused of not paying overtime.
Puzder has reportedly earned more than $4 million in salary and bonuses, but has fought President Barack Obama's calls to raise the federal minimum wage, and Obama's order to expand overtime to 4.2 million more workers, which Trump also opposes.
That order was blocked by a judge in November, noted Reuters, which did not spark any outrage from Trump supporters, who have long said that they want higher wages.
Puzder told Business Insider in March about his plans to replace employees with automated equipment:
I want to try it. We could have a restaurant that's focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.