A group of people who would typically throw their support behind their former boss declined to do so recently, when a majority of the members of former President Donald Trump’s Cabinet wouldn’t say they were supporting his bid for president in 2024.
NBC News contacted 44 people who served in the Cabinet during the Trump administration to see how they were feeling about the 2024 presidential election, and whether they had plans to support their former boss for another trip to the White House.
The media outlet said that almost everyone who they reached out to either declined to provide a comment on the topic, or completely ignored NBC News’ request for comment. Only four of the 44 people that they reached out to said they would publicly support Trump for president in 2024.
Those four people were Russell Vough, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget; Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence; Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff; and Matthew Whitake, the former acting attorney general.
Compared to most of his predecessors in the White House, the Trump administration had a revolving door of Cabinet members, with a much higher turnover rate than the people who served as president before him.
It’s very possible that the high turnover played a significant role in Trump’s former Cabinet members not publicly supporting him. In other words, because of the high turnover rate, many of those people who were among the 44 that NBC News reached out to couldn’t be called loyalists to their former boss.
Bill Barr, a former attorney general under Trump and perhaps his most well-known Cabinet member, said that he didn’t want his former boss to win the GOP nomination in 2024. However, he didn’t say for certain whether he’d end up supporting Trump in a general election if he did win the nomination and faced up against President Joe Biden once again.
Another person who’s seemingly in the same boat is Mike Mulvaney, who served as Trump’s chief of staff at one point. When he was asked by NBC News, Mulvaney replied:
“I am working hard to make sure that someone else [in the GOP] is the nominee. I think he’s the Republican who is most likely to lose in a general election, of all our leading candidates. If anyone can lose to Joe Biden, it would be him.”
That being said, Meadows has thrown his support “fully” behind his former boss, according to one of his spokespersons.
And back in May, Vought posted to Twitter that Trump is “the only person I trust to take a wrecking ball to the Deep State.”
Some prominent former Cabinet members who didn’t make their intentions known were Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State; Patrick Shanahan, the former Defense Secretary; Dan Coats, Joseph Maguire and John Kelly, each who served as director of national intelligence; and John Kelly, former Chief of Staff.
Coats did say that he wouldn’t be supporting former Vice President Mike Pence in the Republican primary.