Special Report

50 Least Powerful People in the World

Source: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

46. Reince Priebus
> Occupation: White House Chief of Staff

Reince Priebus was pushed out as President Trump’s chief of staff in late July. Priebus lost an internal battle with the newly appointed White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci, who was shortly thereafter forced out himself. As the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Priebus was viewed as an outsider by Trump’s inner circle since Priebus was seen as representing the GOP establishment that Trump challenged. Even so, Trump picked Priebus as chief of staff because of his Beltway knowledge. But Priebus reportedly never had Trump’s full confidence and the president did not think Priebus was strong enough to run the White House. Priebus had tried to block Scaramucci from joining the White House, and the brash former hedge-fund manager made no secret of his disdain for Priebus after he was named communications director. Another factor that hurt Priebus was the failure of the health care bill in the Senate that Priebus had supported.

Source: Digo 015 / Wikimedia Commons

47. Ja Rule
> Occupation: Musician/Fyre Festival promoter

Ja Rule is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor from New York. Rule founded Fyre Media Inc. with entrepreneur Billy McFarland, and the two promoted a music festival in the Bahamas. The Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, planned for two weekends beginning in late April, was aimed at monied millennials and touted music acts such as Blink 182. It was promoted on Instagram as an opportunity to mingle with models and “influencers’’ such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.

The festival turned into a fiasco, rife with problems over security, food, accommodations, and relations with artists. The headlining act Blink 182 canceled its performances on both weekends. The festival was eventually canceled after the event-goers had already arrived. The failed event led to lawsuits against the organizers, who were accused of defrauding ticket buyers. McFarland was arrested on fraud charges. In the wake of the debacle, Rule made a public apology on twitter.

Source: Defense Intelligence Agency

48. Michael Flynn
> Occupation: National Security Advisor

Michael Flynn served as President Trump’s National Security Advisor for only 24 days — the shortest tenure of anyone in the position in U.S. history. Flynn’s fall from power stems from phone conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in December 2016, when President Obama was still in the Oval Office. During the calls, Flynn discussed sanctions Obama had imposed on Russia — a fact that Flynn initially denied to federal investigators and Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn resigned from his position in mid-February after the Washington Post reported the true nature of the call. In another potentially criminal action, Flynn also failed to disclose income he earned from a speech he delivered in Moscow in 2016.

Following his departure from the White House, reports broke that Obama had warned Trump against hiring Flynn. Obama had previously fired Flynn in 2014 from his position at the top of the Defense Intelligence Agency, reportedly for mismanagement and temperament issues. Flynn could face multiple felony charges.

Source: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

49. Donald Trump Jr.
> Occupation: Member of first family
Donald Trump Jr. is yet another figure tied to Trump and his campaign who has recently fallen from grace. The president’s eldest son has been left to head the family business as his father took over the White House. While he is technically supposed to be kept at arm’s length from the West Wing due to potential conflicts of interest, some have suggested Trump Jr. still has his father’s ear on policy matters.

That all might be about to change, after an email leak in July revealed that Trump Jr. had held a private meeting with a Russian lawyer with supposed ties to the Russian government for the explicit purpose of receiving potentially damning information on Clinton and her campaign. In early August, former FBI director and current special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been appointed by the Department of Justice to investigate potential Russian meddling in the election, set up a grand jury. Several people close to Trump Jr. have already been subpoenaed, and it seems entirely possible that he himself could be on the stand before the year is out.

Source: lorie shaull / Wikimedia Commons

50. Hillary Clinton
> Occupation: Secretary of state, presidential candidate

Having served as secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York, first lady of the United States, and first lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton was one of the the most qualified presidential candidates in U.S. history. She was also well financed, raising a total of $1.2 billion in 2016. In stark contrast, Donald Trump — her competition in the general election — had no government experience and relatively limited financial backing, raising only $647 million in his 2016 campaign. Despite her advantages, and a comfortable lead in the vast majority of national polls leading up to the November 4th election, Clinton lost by 74 electoral votes to Trump in a historic upset.