Trump defends wealthy Cabinet picks: I want people who 'made a fortune'

President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks could make it one of the wealthiest in US history — and that may have been by his own design.

On the third leg of his "Thank You" tour Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump defended his selection of millionaires and billionaires to join his administration, likening his picks to rich athletes.

"I want people that made a fortune because now they're negotiating with you. It's not different than a great baseball payer or a great golfer," Trump said.

Trump nominated billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as his Commerce Secretary, Betsy Devos, a billionaire activist, as his Education Secretary, and Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary.

RELATED: Trump's Cabinet and top officials: appointees and likely candidates

Both Mnuchin and Ross have backgrounds in the financial industry and have worked for Goldman Sachs.

Trump's picks are particularly interesting as he vowed during his campaign to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders and lobbyists in Washington DC who he claimed profited at the expense of hardworking Americans.

Still, Trump insists that his picks would be devoted to serving America.

"These people have given up fortunes of income in order to make $1 a year and they're so proud to do it," Trump said. "In filling my cabinet, I'm looking for people who fully understand the meaning of service and who are committed to advancing the common good.

So far, only Trump has said he will decline his presidential salary and it is unclear whether some of his Cabinet members will do the same.

RELATED: Trump's official picks for cabinet and administration positions

Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon


Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

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