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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sat down for an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night — and it immediately set off a wave of criticism and bafflement online.
In a number of tense exchanges, DeVos appeared to stumble through responses to questions about her views on education, school funding and even her own popularity.
The performance drew a chorus of derision from critics on social media.
DeVos is an advocate for school choice policies, which bolster alternatives to traditional public schools, such as charter, magnet and parochial schools.
Her nomination as the secretary of education was one of President Donald Trump's most controversial picks, despite her limited media exposure. In the "60 Minutes" segment, interviewer Lesley Stahl said that DeVos was considered "one of the most hated members" of Trump's Cabinet — a status she herself appeared to tacitly acknowledge in the interview, although she used the word "misunderstood" to describe herself.
Asked about the interview in a White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration is focused on "actual policy that can help protect the safety and security of school kids across this country." When asked whether the president saw DeVos's interview, Sanders said that she was "not sure" if Trump "saw the whole thing or not."
Here are the most attention-grabbing excerpts from DeVos' "60 Minutes" interview:
On Monday morning, DeVos followed up her "60 Minutes" interview with an appearance on NBC's "Today," where she was asked to respond to the latest instance of Trump's use of coarse language at a public speaking engagement.
"I would probably use different language myself, and I think we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to be examples to our kids ... that would include the president as well," she said.