Education Secretary Betsy DeVos admitted President Trump could have set a better example for the nation when he used a vulgarity to describe a journalist during a rally to his supporters.
DeVos, who spoke to TODAY on Monday to discuss the White House plan to deal with school safety, also gave her thoughts about Trump calling NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd a “sleeping son of a bitch” over the weekend.
As the cabinet secretary “who’s in charge of what our kids learn, what do you think of that kind of language?” Savannah Guthrie asked DeVos. “Would you wash someone’s mouth out with soap?”
“I would probably use different language myself,” DeVos replied. “I think we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to be examples to our kids.”
“I think we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to be examples to our kids.”Betsy DeVos
She then added, when asked: “That would include the president as well.”
Trump made the comments Saturday night during a free-ranging speech he made at a campaign rally for a Republican House candidate in Pennsylvania. The president laid into news networks and also insulted and encouraged booing at several other targets, including Democratic members of congress.
Todd referred to the insult in a social media plug ahead of his Sunday morning news program.
However, former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw immediately called out the president for his tasteless choice of words, saying, “explain that to your children.”
On Monday on TODAY, DeVos also addressed a controversial new plan on gun violence and school safety released in the wake of last month’s shooting at a Florida high school.
“Everything is on the table,” DeVos said of the White House effort. “The plan is really the first step in a more lengthy process.”
A presidential commission will look at gun control along with “a number of other issues,” DeVos said. “We have to get much broader than talking about guns.”
DeVos supports the idea of arming of teachers, but said she doesn’t have a percentage in mind of how many school instructors should be able to carry weapons.
“It should be those who are capable and qualified and only in places where it’s appropriate,” she said, adding she does not think it appropriate to have an armed teacher in every classroom.
“The point is that schools should have this tool,” she said, adding that the issue would be best decided at the local and state levels.