During President Trump's Cabinet meeting on Monday, the Cabinet officials and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus went around the room praising Trump in turn. The roundelay of ass-kissing alternately inspired mockery and dismayed reactions, comparing it to what you'd see in the authoritarian regimes of China and North Korea. Here's a rundown of the top five exaltations to the Cabinet's apparent Dear Leader.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
"It was a great honor traveling with you around the country for the last year and an even greater honor to be here serving on your Cabinet."
Why: It was a power move to flaunt that he and Trump were previously tight in front of the whole room. Bonus points for two expressions of honor, in escalating order.
5. CIA Director Mike Pompeo
"Mr. President, it's an honor to serve as your CIA director. It's an incredible privilege to lead the men and women who are providing intelligence so that we can do the national security mission. And in the finest traditions of the CIA, I'm not going to share a d*mn thing in front of the media."
Why: One "honor," one "privilege," and the pledge to cooperate in a brand-new pet cause of Trump's: Leaks to the media.
4. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
"I want to congratulate you on the men and women you've placed around this table. This is the team you've assembled that's working hand in glove for the men and women of America, and I want to thank you for that. These are great team members and we're on your team."
Why: It takes a special kind of brown-noser to praise your new boss's staffing decisions in front of said staff (and TV cameras).
3. Vice President Mike Pence
"It is just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as the — as vice president to the President who's keeping his word to the American people and assembling a team that's bringing real change, real prosperity, real strength back to our nation."
Why: Pence has three children and a wife, whom Trump's job offer apparently supercede in terms of life privileges. Bonus points for collapsing Trump's often-rambling campaign stump speeches into one concise sentence.
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price
"Mr. President, what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can't thank you enough for the privileges you've given me and the leadership that you've shown. It seems like there's an international flair to the messages that are being delivered."
Why: Two "honor"s, one "privileges," and the interpretation of Trump's roundly criticized foreign trip — which involved excoriating the G7 to their faces, refusing to commit to the principles of NATO, shoving the prime minister of Montenegro and engaging in handshake battles with heads of state — as "international flair."
1. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
“On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people. And we're continuing to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals.”
Why: Priebus's mash note was instantly maligned for the word "blessing," intimating that his appointment was the result of divine providence, possibly rendered by Trump as God himself. The only way it could've been more obsequious is if he called himself "Reincey," reportedly his Trump-bestowed belittling nickname.