10 Things in Politics: D.C. money diaries, Trump enablers, and more

10 Things in Politics: D.C. money diaries, Trump enablers, and more
Al Drago/Getty; Brendan Smialowski/Getty; Yana Paskova/Getty; Tom Williams/Getty; Dominique Faget/Getty; Olivier Douliery; Mikhail Klimentyev/Getty; Skye Gould/Insider

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics*. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.


MIXING IT UP: I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekends. We're mixing it up a little today by bringing you a special edition (*just 5 things today) featuring some of Insider's best politics stories that you may have missed. I'll be back to regularly scheduled programming - and all the latest news - tomorrow.

1. Capitol Hill staffers are making next to nothing: Capitol Hill staffers have put up with low wages for years. Some start in the high $20,000s. Often this means barely making enough to live in DC and shuffling from the halls of Congress to side hustles. Read what Capitol Hill staffers are saying about their "unlivable" wages.

  • A major takeaway: Those advising the most powerful people in our country are far from representative of America as few people can afford to work in such conditions. It also means experienced workers can make a lot more lobbying, further greasing the swamp's revolving door.
  • Plus, eight Capitol Hill staffers shared with us how they budget their monthly salaries. Check out their money diaries here.

2. Meet the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Trump's rise to power: Trump was a one-man band atop his campaign when he became the 45th president of the United States, but he had help from numerous staffers and allies along the way. My colleagues assembled a list of everyone that helped him, from conservative media superstars Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch to Donald Trump Jr. to top White House aides Reince Priebus and Stephen Miller. Rudy Giuliani is here too.


You can view the full database here.

3. Men dominate drug companies. This inequity in leadership costs women more than $500 million in pay each year: Even as biopharma executives have paid more attention to gender inequity, men still account for 92% of the industry's CEO roles, according to a review of nearly 200 leading drug companies. The problem extends beyond the CEO ranks too. See what several women leaders suggested should be done.

4. Mysterious brain injuries have plagued over 130 US spies and diplomats. A former CIA officer opened up about his experience: Reports of "Havana Syndrome" have continued to grow since 2016 when diplomats and their families in Cuba started experiencing headaches, vertigo, and hearing loss after hearing buzzing or clicking sounds. The cause and mechanism continue to stump medical experts. Read a firsthand account of what it's like to struggle with these symptoms - while some officials say you're not really sick.

  • Key quote: "We wish we had a visible wound. We would've rather had gotten shot," said Marc Polymeropoulos, who was working for the CIA in Russia when he was attacked. "Because so many people didn't believe us."


5. Gen Z is already shaking up the White House: Insider identified 15 Gen Zers - people born after 1996, according to Pew Research Center - already working for the administration. Meet those who are already making their mark before many in their generation can even vote.

  • An incredible story: "My dad crossed the border every day for 16 years, and my mom gave up her profession to get me to where I'm standing now, so this is a really big moment for my parents and everyone who came before them," said Alejandra Gonzalez, a special assistant for an official on the National Security Council. More here.

That's all for now! See you tomorrow morning.