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In Grand Rapids, DeVos declines to say whether she’ll endorse Trump

While speaking in Grand Rapids on Monday, Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered little when asked if she would support former President Donald Trump

By Kyle Davidson, Michigan Advance - June 18, 2024
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Betsy DeVos

While speaking in Grand Rapids on Monday, Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered little when asked if she would support former President Donald Trump — her former boss — in the upcoming election. 

Trump nominated DeVos to the position in 2017. She resigned shortly before her tenure would have ended in 2021 following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business. That behavior is unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” DeVos wrote in her resignation letter

DeVos has long been prominent among Michigan conservatives, previously serving as chair of the Michigan Republican Party. The billionaire DeVos family has also poured millions of dollars into supporting conservative candidates and efforts in both state and national politics, including efforts on school vouchers and Republican nominee Tudor Dixon’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign, which she lost to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

After speaking out against the Biden administration’s final rule on Title IX, which rolled back changes implemented under the Trump administration and overseen by DeVos, a reporter from Michigan Public asked DeVos if she supported Trump in the upcoming election, noting these changes could be undone by a Republican administration. 

However, DeVos did not answer whether she supported the former president, continuing to argue that discrimination protections for transgender students would eliminate sex-based protections within Title IX. 

“What we do is support the fact that this rule does not get implemented, period. It is endangering women today, and it will tomorrow. This is a clear and present danger today, and I would expect that any future administration would look at that seriously and I would hope that this current administration takes a serious look at what it’s doing to women today.” 

The Biden administration’s Title IX changes are set to take effect on Aug. 1. The new rules do not address criteria for transgender athletes, as the Department of Education works on a separate rule that would prevent blanket bans against transgender students competing in sports that align with their gender identity. 

Despite arguments from opponents, there has been no consistent research suggesting transgender women enjoy athletic advantages at any stage of their transition. A study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found no evidence in support of claims that allowing trans people to use public restrooms or other gender-segregated facilities in line with their gender identity creates safety risks.

This story was originally published in the Michigan Advance


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