President Donald Trump told a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 21 that he did not want a "poor person" serving in his Cabinet (video below).
Trump bragged about his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and boasted that his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who is the former president and COO of Goldman Sachs, "had to pay over $200 million in taxes to take the job."
MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle tweeted on June 22: "Dear [POTUS] -Gary Cohn DID NOT PAY $200mm in taxes to join the WH. It's deferred & a well known loophole that attracts rich people to serve."
Trump insisted that his wealthy Cabinet appointees were serving the country, notes Time magazine:
So somebody said, "Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy?" I said, "Because that's the kind of thinking we want ... because they're representing the country. They don't want the money. They're representing the country. And they had to give up a lot to take these jobs. They gave up a lot."
Trump insisted that Cohn "went from massive paydays to peanuts," and then blamed the "world" for taking advantage of Americans:
These are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that’s what we need. That’s what we have to have so the world doesn't take advantage. We can't have the world taking advantage of us anymore. And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense? If you insist, I'll do it, but I like it better this way, right?
Time notes that Trump attacked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 for taking money from Wall Street executives to give speeches.
Trump told an Iowa rally in January 2016: "I know the people on Wall Street ... I'm not going to let Wall Street get away with murder. Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us."
During the June 21 rally in Iowa, Trump also mocked wind energy: "I don’t want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes," notes ThinkProgress.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration website, wind provided "36.6% of Iowa’s total electricity generation in 2016, a larger share than in any other state," and "was second only to coal as an energy source for electricity generation in the state."
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa bragged about Iowa's wind energy in a February 2016 press release issued by the American Wind Energy Association:
We are proud of Iowa’s leadership in wind energy. We’ve seen exponential growth in wind energy and the data released today reinforces what we’ve been seeing in every corner of our state. With potential to jump above 40 percent in the next five years, we are committed to building an even greener Iowa future that will provide our Iowa families with cleaner, renewable energy and job opportunities.
Sources: Time, Stephanie Ruhle/Twitter, U.S. Energy Information Administration, American Wind Energy Association / Photo credit: 401(K) 2012/Flickr, Office of the President of the United States via Wikimedia Commons (2)