Administration

Trump: DeVos had a ‘very unfair trial’ during confirmation

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President Trump said that his newly minted Education secretary, Betsy DeVos, had a “very unfair trial” during her confirmation process.

DeVos’s nomination was tied 50-50 after two Senate Republicans refused to back her nomination, requiring Vice President Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote — the first time that’s been done for a Cabinet nominee.

During a parent-teacher conference held at the White House Tuesday morning, Trump congratulated DeVos on her new role and said the “real winner” will be the children.

“Just to do it very, very formally, I want to congratulate you on having gone through a very tough trial and a very unfair trial — and you won,” Trump said at Tuesday’s listening session. “And there’s something very nice about that.”

{mosads}“The real winner will be the children … of this country.”

DeVos’s nomination was on thin ice after two GOP senators announced they couldn’t support her. While the vote stood at 50-50, Pence was the tie-breaking vote to help her nomination clear the Senate and ultimately become the administration’s Education secretary.

Democrats and other critics sought to frame DeVos as an opponent of public education. The billionaire GOP donor is a vocal advocate of charter schools and school choice.

Democratic senators grilled DeVos at her confirmation hearing last month, and her shaky responses to some questions about education policy and federal laws came up as red flags for some lawmakers, disability rights groups and teachers unions.

Joined by Pence and other top White House aides on Tuesday, Trump pointed to “failing schools” as an education “crisis” and said he will make improving them a priority, especially in the African-American community.

“That’s why I want every single disadvantaged child in America, no matter what their background or where they live, to have a choice about where they go to school,” Trump said.

“Our goal is a clear and very safe community, great schools, and we want those jobs that are high-paying jobs.”

While DeVos is now officially leading the Education Department, she has still been met with resistance from critics. Protesters blocked DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C., public school, though she was eventually able to enter the building.

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