- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2020

President Trump held what could be his final Cabinet meeting Wednesday morning at the White House, minus some high-profile members of his team.

With the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden 35 days away, Mr. Trump convened his top agency chiefs for the 25th time of his presidency. Former President Barack Obama held 19 Cabinet meetings in his first term, according to CBS News.

Among those missing from the meeting were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was quarantined for exposure to COVID-19, and Attorney General William P. Barr, who has resigned effective Dec. 23.

Others who didn’t attend were Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, according to a list released by the White House.

The White House didn’t allow press coverage of the meeting. At previous Cabinet meetings, Mr. Trump has often invited reporters and TV cameras inside for coverage lasting 30 minutes or longer.

In four years, Mr. Trump has had 15 Cabinet secretaries or Cabinet-level department heads quit or resign under pressure, the most in the first term of any of the past four administrations.

Among those who have left the administration are Jim Mattis and Mark Esper (Defense), Kirstjen Nielsen and John F. Kelly (Homeland Security, the latter also later resigning under pressure as White House chief of staff), Rex Tillerson (State), David Shulkin (Veterans Affairs), Jeff Sessions (Justice), Ryan Zinke (Interior), Alex Acosta (Labor), Tom Price (Health and Human Services) and Rick Perry (Energy).

The Cabinet members who have been with Mr. Trump for four years are Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Mr. Perdue at Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Mr. Mnuchin at Treasury.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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