DeVos: Education 'clearly' not one of Trump's top priorities

DeVos: Education 'clearly' not one of Trump's top priorities
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDebt relief is now harder for students of for-profit colleges House fails to override Trump veto of bill blocking DeVos student loan rule DeVos issues new rule ordering more coronavirus relief to private schools MORE said Wednesday that education “clearly has not been” a top priority for President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE, Politico reported.

“Education clearly has not been at the top of his list of priorities to address directly, but he has been very supportive of all the work that we’ve done,” DeVos told Denver radio station KDMT.

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She added: “I have a great relationship with the president … And he has been very supportive of and encouraging of all of the initiatives that we’ve undertaken.”

DeVos, one of Trump’s few remaining original Cabinet members, has spent the first years of her tenure unraveling previous administrations’ policies, including Obama-era guidance on eliminating disparities in school discipline.

She reportedly has a good relationship with the president, her aides told The Washington Post.

But earlier this year, the two clashed when Trump’s proposed 2020 budget aimed to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics.

DeVos defended the administration’s budget, which garnered widespread backlash for the funding cut, while testifying in Congress. Days later, Trump said he had “overridden” his people and authorized funding for the organization.

Trump transition team vetting documents leaked this week also show that DeVos didn’t endorse Trump in the 2016 election because of “serious policy differences.”

In addition to opposing his “policies of building a wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border, DeVos said she had reservations about the president “as a person.”

DeVos added during the interview that 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE’ (I-Vt.) proposal to cancel student loan debt is “ill-conceived.”

“It’s very ill-conceived for one thing,” she said, adding that she’s troubled by “the notion that two people out of every three in this country would underwrite the student debt for the one-third that have taken on the debt.”

More than 150,000 former students at for-profit colleges have filed a lawsuit against the Education Department and DeVos, alleging they haven’t been given the student debt relief they’re entitled to.