This article was first published on www.washingtonpost.com
A new book about President Trump by one of his former senior advisers, Omarosa Manigault Newman, claims that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants “to replace public education with for-profit schools” and that Trump has called her by the nickname “Ditzy DeVos.”
The book, “Unhinged,” describes Trump during the years that Manigault Newman has known him, stretching back to when she was a contestant on his reality show, “The Apprentice,” nearly a dozen years ago. Manigault Newman, who served in the administration for less than a year as assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, portrays Trump as a bigoted misogynist.
The White House has slammed the book, saying it is filled with lies. Trump, in a tweet Tuesday, called the author “a crazed, crying lowlife” and a “dog.” The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment about the book.
In the latter part of “Unhinged,” Manigault Newman alleges that DeVos wants to eliminate public education in the United States, which many of DeVos’s critics have long contended. DeVos has supported alternatives to public education for decades and has called public schools “a dead end” but has never said she wants to eliminate them.
Manigault Newman writes:
Her plan, in a nutshell, is to replace public education with for-profit schools. She believes it would be better for students, but the truth is, it’s about profit. She’s so fixated on her agenda, she can’t give any consideration to building our public schools, providing financing for them, particularly their infrastructure needs.
Manigault Newman writes that she accompanied DeVos on a trip to Florida in 2017 and that DeVos was booed while giving a graduation speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida. Graduating students heckled DeVos in large part because a few months earlier, she had called historically black colleges and universities — which were created because blacks couldn’t attend white schools — “pioneers” of school choice. Manigault Newman writes:
There is no way she should be the secretary of education. Once I returned and told DJT about what had happened, he shook his head in disgust. He said, “She is Ditzy DeVos, what do you expect? In a very short period of time, I will get rid of her. Believe me, believe me. “
Trump commonly uses derogatory nicknames for people around him.
DeVos has appeared several times before Congress and has been unable to discuss basic education policies when questioned by lawmakers.