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Trump Supporters Suggest Women He Could Nominate To Cabinet Positions

After Trump had some trouble naming women he would nominate for cabinet positions if elected, his female supporters in Iowa tried to help him out.

Posted on August 5, 2016, at 7:04 p.m. ET

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump's supporters, who gathered here on Friday to cheer the Republican presidential nominee, had an easier time naming women who could serve in his cabinet than he did.

In an interview with First Coast News in Florida on Wednesday, Trump had a hard time coming up with the names of any women (aside from his daughter Ivanka and the woman interviewing him) who he thought might be fit to fill a cabinet position. BuzzFeed News asked supporters to name women who might qualify for a nomination. Here are their picks:

1. Joni Ernst

Far and away, the most popular woman who Iowans thought would be a fit for a cabinet position was Joni Ernst. Ernst, the junior senator from Iowa, was on the short-list to be Trump's running mate, but ultimately withdrew in order to focus on her political career in Iowa.

Ernst, if you don't know (and this reporter did not) drives a Harley...

Joni Ernst on @Billboard_Bob's Harley on the way to becoming Iowa's next U.S. Senator...GO Joni GO !!!

…is a farmer…

… and is also a veteran.

Senator Joni Ernst, Lieutenant Colonel, Iowa National Guard, Operation Iraqi Freedom "combat veteran".

Tracy Manson, who works in concrete and has supported Trump from the beginning, says Joni Ernst would make a good Secretary of Agriculture. But other fans of Ernst, including 89-year-old former farmer Lois Miller, said she'd also be a good fit as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Caroline O'Donovan / BuzzFeed News

Trump supporter Lois Miller told BuzzFeed News that Senator Joni Ernst would make a good Secretary of Agriculture or Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

2. Carly Fiorina

Joy Ellis, of West Des Moines, attended the rally with three friends from church — Karen, Sharon, and Phyllis. Ellis said, throughout her career in publishing, she was one of few women working in sales. She thinks Carly Fiorina would make a good Secretary of Commerce.

Caroline O'Donovan / BuzzFeed News

From left to right, Phyllis Toy, Joy Ellis, Karen Stavnheim and Sharon Siebold, Trump supporters and friends who suggested both Condoleezza Rice and Carly Fiorina as possible cabinet members.

"She's a business woman. She's a straightforward, honest, hard-working business woman," Ellis says. "Women can do just as well as men, or better, if they work really hard. And that's what she does."

Fiorina ran for the Republican presidential nomination against Trump, but dropped out in Februrary of 2016.

3. Condoleezza Rice

Phyllis Toy, Joy's friend, was the second Trump supporter to tell BuzzFeed News that Condoleezza Rice also deserves a place in the cabinet. "She's been in the White House. She's honest. She knows the ropes," said Toy. "And, I don't like playing the race card, but…you know."

Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State under president George W. Bush.

4. Jeanine Pirro

One Trump supporter who was scrambling to find a seat for her elderly mother suggested Jeanine Pirro could be a good female candidate for cabinet position.

Pirro, a New York district attorney, hosts a show — "Justice With Judge Jeanine" — on Fox News, and endorsed Trump in June.


Trump's record on women is spotty. But even his newest fans believe there could be a place for a powerful woman in a Trump administration.

Dan Dodge, a lifelong Democrat, says he became a Trump supporter because, after his first wife died, he remarried a Republican. Dodge's son is in construction and contracts on a Trump property property in New Jersey.

"Our son says he's got women with power working for him," Dodge said. "If she's smart and gets work done, it doesn't matter if you're male or female."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.