Donald Trump swore he would hire the best people to help him run the government. Instead, he's surrounded himself with people as incompetent and clueless as he is.

Donald Trump said repeatedly on the campaign trail that as president, he would hire only the best.

During one interview in September 2016, for example, he cited “great competence” as a key factor for hiring for his administration.

That, like so many of Trump’s campaign promises, has turned out to be a lie. And, in fact, a joke among the members of Trump’s cabinet.

A GQ profile on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke — who last week threatened the entire state of Alaska over GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s opposition to Trump’s health care fiasco — included this alarming tidbit about a running “joke” with his new friend Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

“Secretary Perry is a wonderful guy,” he says. “I think he thought his department was more about energy than…science. Mostly, it’s science. And, of course, they also have responsibility of our nuclear arsenal. Interior is the one that produces energy…we laugh a lot about it.”

While the two Trump cabinet members might enjoy a laugh about Perry’s stunning ignorance of the job he has, there is nothing funny about it.

When Perry infamously forgot the name of the government agency he wanted to disband, during the 2012 presidential election — “Oops!” — it was excellent fodder for comedians.

But it wasn’t funny when Trump decided to put Perry in charge of the very agency he had sworn to disband, even if he couldn’t remember its name.

And it wasn’t funny when Perry quickly revealed that he had absolutely no idea what the Energy Department even does, as was revealed in an absolutely chilling report by The New York Times, which said that Perry believed “he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.”

That the person tasked with overseeing the country’s nuclear power thought his job was to sell oil abroad should have immediately disqualified him from the job. But in Trump’s administration, a total lack of understanding about anything — from how to turn on the lights in the White House to how to maintain and secure our nuclear stockpile — certainly seems to be a feature, not a bug.

In fact, Perry’s agency is now openly celebrating his “fight” against climate scientists — a wholly inappropriate and terrifying rejection of experts in favor of ideology.

Trump’s cabinet is in fact filled with inexperienced and blatantly unqualified people with no expertise.

Billionaire Betsy DeVos is in charge of education, despite having no experience in the field, other than her family’s campaign to privatize all education.

Ben Carson is in charge of Housing and Urban Development, even though his years as a brain surgeon and then as a star on the right-wing conference circuit in no way prepared him for the job.

So long as our country is governed by Trump loyalists who do not know or care what they’re supposed to be doing, the nation’s safety, security, and stability remains at risk. And that is nothing to laugh about.