Donald Trump's cabinet heaps praise on him as he claims to be best President in modern times

It was the first full meeting of the cabinet

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 12 June 2017 19:39 BST
Donald Trump invites Cabinet members to offer message of praise

Donald Trump has overseen his first full cabinet meeting, at which his top officials took turns to heap praise on the President.

Mr Trump took the opportunity to try and use his full first meeting to make the case that, despite the problems created by the controversy over his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia, the administration was making rapid progress.

“Never has there been a president, with few exceptions - case of FDR, he had a major depression to handle - who has passed more legislation and who has done more things than what we’ve done,” said Mr Trump, in a reference to Franklin D Roosevelt.

“I think we’ve been about as active as you can possibly be at a just about record-setting pace,” Mr Trump said.

The Washington Post said the meeting was exceptional that the President then sat and listened at his cabinet members took turns - all of them aware the media was listening - to praise him for his performance in the Oval Office.

“We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human services, said it was “an honour” to head the department under Mr Trump’s leadership.

“I can't thank you enough for the privileges you've given me and the leadership that you’ve shown,” Mr Price said.

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The newspaper pointed out that despite Mr Trump having signed a series of executive orders - one of them, a travel ban, has been placed on hold by the courts - Congress has yet to pass any of the major proposals he campaigned on as a candidate.

Despite that, his cabinet members took the opportunity to suggest he and they had preformed wonders. A pool report of the meeting noted that after Mr Trump spoke, “cabinet members each introduced themselves and said a few words about how happy they were to be there”.

Vice President Mike Pence said: “It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Vice President. The President is keeping his word to the American people.”

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who is due to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, claimed he had been receiving support from law enforcement officers all over America.

“They are so thrilled that we have new ideas and that we support them,” he said.

Rick Perry, Mr Trump’s Energy Secretary, said he had been in China last week where his hosts were delighted to learn that, despite Mr Trump saying he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord, “we are still going to be leaders in the world when it comes to the climate”.

“My hats off to you for taking that stand and sending a clear message around the world,” he said.

Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, said it was “a new day at the United Nations”.

It was Mr Trump's first full cabinet meeting (AP)

“We now have a very strong voice. People know what the United States is for. They know what we are against. And they see us in a new way across the board. I think the international community knows we are back,” she said.

Wilbur Ross, Mr Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, said: “Thank you for the opportunity to help fix the trade deficit.”

Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture, responded to the large number of cabinet members mentioning their international trips. He said: “While we are bragging about international travel I just got back from Mississippi and they like you there.”

Democrats have seized on the episode.

“You have great hair,” said Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, in a mocking video. “Nobody has better hair than you.“

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