Administration

DeVos blames Trump transition team for shaky confirmation hearings

Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos put blame on President Trump’s transition team for the way it dealt with coaching her for her confirmation process.

“I think I was undercoached,” she said in an interview with Politico.

“The transition group was very circumspect about how much information they gave me about then-current policy and … it was in their view a balance between being prepared for a confirmation hearing and not having well-formed opinions on what should or shouldn’t change, so as not to get caught in a confirmation hearing making commitments that then I wouldn’t want to or be able to keep.”

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She added: “In hindsight, I wish I had a whole lot more information.”

DeVos said during the confirmation process, she also wasn’t able to talk to the media at all.

“I wasn’t able to express anything from my perspective,” she told Politico.

“So it gave weeks and weeks of open shots for my opponents to take.”

DeVos faced fierce opposition after her nomination. Senators in both parties criticized the now-Education secretary for her lack of experience with public and rural education.

During her confirmation hearing, she at one point cited grizzly bear attacks as part of her reasoning for allowing states to determine their own gun policies in schools.

She said Wyoming schools may need guns to “protect from potential grizzlies.”

She was confirmed, despite two GOP senators voting against her nomination. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote for her confirmation.

DeVos joked about the comments during a later appearance, saying: “For me, personally, this confirmation process and the drama in engendered, has been a bit of a bear.”

Tags Betsy DeVos Confirmation hearing Secretary of Education
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