Omarosa: DeVos said black students don’t have ‘capacity to understand’ her goals

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman claims in her new book that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos once said students who booed her at a historically black college lacked the “capacity to understand” what the Trump administration is trying to accomplish.

Manigualt Newman wrote in “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” which was released on Tuesday, that the comment from DeVos came after she gave a speech at Bethune-Cookman University in May 2017, according to excerpts obtained by The Hill.

{mosads}Manigault Newman, who was an HBCU graduate and who reportedly helped lead the Trump administration’s outreach to those colleges, said that it quickly became clear that no one wanted DeVos to deliver a commencement address at the school. 

“Betsy got up onstage to give her speech and was immediately, loudly booed by the entire audience,” Manigault Newman wrote. “Graduating students and their families stood up and turned their backs on her. I was seated onstage watching this travesty unfold. When the booing started, she should have wrapped it up, but she went on and on for twenty minutes, talking over the booing. I was thinking, It’s not about you! Abandon your full speech! Adjust, woman!”

But Maniguault Newman said that DeVos thought the speech went “great,” before adding that the students who booed “didn’t get it.”

“They don’t have the capacity to understand what we’re trying to accomplish,” DeVos said, according to Manigault Newman, who inferred that what DeVos meant was that “those black students were too stupid to understand her agenda.” 

Manigault-Newman wrote that she replied by telling DeVos the students “get it” and that they are not “happy about you or your goals.” 

Education Department press secretary Liz Hill told The Hill that Manigault Newman’s claims are false and that the former White House aide is “peddling lies for profit.” 

“The book is a joke as are the false claims she’s making about Secretary DeVos,” Hill said in a statement. 

In addition to the specific anecdote, Manigault Newman slams DeVos throughout the book, calling her “woefully inadequate and not equipped for her job.”

The former “Apprentice” contestant also claimed that Trump called DeVos “Ditzy DeVos” and that he vowed to get rid of her after Manigault-Newman described to him being stranded at a hotel after DeVos’ speech at Bethune-Cookman. 

Manigault Newman’s book contains numerous allegations against Trump and his administration, including one in which she says there are tapes of Trump saying the n-word on “The Apprentice.” 

Trump has denied that claim, but White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that she “can’t guarantee” that tapes don’t exist. 

—Updated at 2:24 p.m.

Tags Betsy DeVos Omarosa Manigault Newman

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