Trump education nominee Betsy DeVos appears to have plagiarized quotes for her Senate questionnaire

On Tuesday, it was revealed that some of the written responses that Donald Trump's education secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, delivered to the Senate may have been lifted from other sources without attribution, as reported by the Washington Post. This revelation comes as DeVos' nomination cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and now moves onto a full Senate vote.

DeVos's confirmation hearing was marred in controversy as she seemed to have difficulty answering standard questions regarding her role. And her inability to give straight answers in some instances earned the chagrin of Senator Elizabeth Warran, who refused to shake her hand. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also said she would "decimate" public schools. So, Democrats asked her to complete a questionnaire to further gain a grasp of her knowledge of the position. DeVos seemed to want to ace this proverbial test, so she answered them to the best of her ability, even possibly lifting quotes without attribution.

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Continuing a day of one-on-one meetings with candidates for positions in his cabinet, President-elect Donald Trump met with Betsy DeVos, two polar opposites thought to be in contention for the education portfolio.

(Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence stand with Betsy DeVos before their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence emerge with Betsy DeVos after their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Continuing a day of one-on-one meetings with candidates for positions in his cabinet, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Betsy DeVos, two polar opposites thought to be in contention for the education portfolio.

(Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Grant Hill #33 of the Los Angeles Clippers shakes hands with Owner Dick DeVos, Chairman of Amway and his wife Betsy DeVos during the game against the Orlando Magic during the game on February 6, 2013 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

US President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush wave after they were introduced by the Chair of the Michigan Republican Party Betsy DeVos 30 October 2004 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bush is on his final three days of campaigning prior for the election November 02.

(STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)

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For example, Senator Patty Murray asked DeVos how she would address LGBT students being bullied. DeVos's answer was a pretty run-of-the-mill response: "Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment where they can learn, thrive, and grow." This response seems pretty close to Vanita Gupta's words (she headed the Justice Department's civil rights division under Obama) while addressing how schools should accommodate its transgender students. The WaPo noted Gupta's May 2016 response read, "Every child deserves to attend school in a safe, supportive environment that allows them to thrive and grow."

This could have been a simple mix up with an intern forgetting to properly attribute, but some of the lifting is quite blatant. CNN noted that there is one example with a lifted quote directing from the Department of Education's website. During the committee vote, Murray pointed out some of the discrepancies, which were rushed with their proofreading efforts:

"We just received responses to hundreds of written questions yesterday, less than 24 hours before this scheduled vote, and with no time to fully review and ask any follow-up questions. Though, I will say, upon initial review, many of the responses look copied and pasted from previous statements or are simple reiterations of the law and no true responses at all."

This is not the first time a Trump appointee to have plagiarism accusations tossed their way. Monica Crowley bowed out of a national security post appointment in January after it was revealed that her memoir and PhD dissertation contained many passages lifted from various uncited sources,

(Via The Washington Post, The Huffington Post & CNN)

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