The GOP Bragged That Trump Is Empowering Women & Twitter Did NOT Let That Slide

by Morgan Brinlee
Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In this day and age you really have to be careful what you tweet, especially if you're running social media for one of America's two major political parties. On Saturday, the official Twitter account for the GOP made an controversial claim about President Donald Trump, boasting he'd appointed more women to senior positions than "previous administrations." But a number of Twitter users found the GOP's tweet about Trump empowering women hard to swallow, and basically came with receipts proving otherwise.

"[Trump] has appointed more women to senior-level positions than previous administrations," the GOP tweeted Saturday. "He's empowering ALL Americans with his winning agenda." The addition of the hashtag #WomensHistoryMonth seems to imply the tweet was meant as a celebration of the annually declared month geared at highlighting women's contributions to history and society. It's worth pointing out the GOP's #WomensHistoryMonth tweet applauded Trump, a man, and did not celebrate or name any of the women he's appointed.

Now, the GOP's tweet might have managed to fly under the radar until it eventually disappeared in the abyss where all old tweets go to be forgotten. Except President Trump's son, Donald J. Trump Jr., retweeted it, effectively throwing it in front of a number of Twitter users who were quick to point out the statistics behind Trump's appointments and nominations say otherwise.

In the early days of his administration, President Trump appointed four women to Cabinet-level positions — Elaine L. Chao, transportation secretary, Betsy DeVos, education secretary, Nikki Haley, who serves as the U.S. representative to the United Nations, and Linda McMahon, who serves as the head of the small business administration.

Kirstjen Nielsen was later appointed as the secretary of Homeland Security following Gen. John Kelly's move into the role of White House chief of staff. Meaning as of now, women make up 20.8 percent of the 24 Cabinet or Cabinet-level positions within the Trump administration.

In contrast, former President Barack Obama had seven women serving in Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions when his presidency ended. Given the fact that Obama had 23 Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions (as opposed to Trump's 24), it's easy to determine that women made 30.4 percent of those high-level jobs.

While these numbers represent only a cursory comparison between the number of women placed in high-level positions within the Trump and Obama administration, more in-depth analyses — which a number of Twitter users helpfully shared with both the GOP and Trump Jr. — haven't returned statistics that back the GOP's claim.

Among the research Twitter users included among their receipts was a ProPublica analysis which found that, as of March 2017, women worked in just 27 percent of all roles within the Trump administration. What's more, it appears women were more often than not overlooked when it came to even being nominated.

Twitter users also shared a September report from the Guardian regarding an analysis of Trump's nominations for top jobs within his administration. In that analysis the Guardian found that 80 percent of those nominations had gone to men. "Without a significant shift, men will outnumber women four-to-one in top positions of the Trump administration," the Guardian concluded, adding the president appeared to be "on track to assemble the most male dominated federal government in nearly a quarter century."

While the GOP's tweet focused just on "senior-level positions," it's worth noting that a Reuters analysis found the mid-year appointees for more than 1,000 mid-level positions within the Trump administration continued to be largely white and male. "Office of Personnel Management numbers analyzed by Reuters show that 88 percent of such appointees were non-Hispanic white and 62 percent were men," the news outlet reported.

There are of course women in senior-level positions within the Trump administration: Kellyanne Conway, who serves as a counselor to the president; Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who serves as press secretary; Julia Hahn, who serves as a special assistant to the president; and even Trump's own daughter, Ivanka Trump, whose official title is assistant to the president. But a number of women have left or have announced their plans for departure, including Hope Hicks, Dina Powell, K.T. McFarland, Katie Walsh.

But as for the GOP's claim that Trump "has appointed more women to senior-level positions than previous administrations," Twitter certainly shut it down fast.