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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Betsy DeVos through the years
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Schwalm

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. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Jordan?s Queen Rania speak with students and administrators at the Excel Academy public charter school in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks before U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum "Increasing Access to High-Quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education" in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 30: U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (L), who was dressed as Ms. Frizzle from 'The Magic Schoolbus' series, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway attend Halloween at the White House on the South Lawn October 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump gave cookies away to costumed trick-or-treaters one day before the Halloween holiday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/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)

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)

U.S. President Donald Trump (C, background) waits to interrupt Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she speaks to students at a school choice event at the White House in Washington, U.S. May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes remarks during a major policy address on Title IX enforcement, which in college covers sexual harassment, rape and assault, at George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. first lady Melania Trump are greeted by a student during a visit the Excel Academy public charter school in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (C) and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price (R) attend a cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump, joined by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (from L), advisor Jared Kushner and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, thanks fourth-grade students Janayah Chatelier (3rd R) and Landon Fritz (R) for the "Happy Birthday Florida" card they gave him as he visits their classroom at Saint Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, Florida, U.S. March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a meeting with teachers and parents at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (2nd R) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (R) arrive with President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, U.S. March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
CAMBRIDGE, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks in a forum at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government on Thursday, September 28, 2017. (Photo by Katye Martens Brier for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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)

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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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