After a proposed Department of Education budget caused controversy by eliminating federal funding for Special Olympics, President Donald Trump stepped in and said he will ensure the program continues to receive funding, according to The Hill.
President Trump's announcement comes after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spent recent days defending herself and her department against heavy criticism for the decision to cut funding.
"The Special Olympics will be funded," President Trump told reporters on Thursday. "I just told my people, 'I want to fund the Special Olympics,' and I just authorized a funding of the Special Olympics. I've been to the Special Olympics. I think it's incredible, and I just authorized a funding. I heard about it this morning, I have overridden my people. We're funding the Special Olympics."
DeVos tries to save face
President Trump's announcement put DeVos in an uncomfortable position. She just defended the funding cut Wednesday, saying "the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations."
The way President Trump announced the Special Olympics funding hangs DeVos out to dry as a scapegoat who was publicly defending a funding cut that was unpopular in both parties before being overruled by her boss.
So, DeVos on Thursday changed her messaging to say that she and the president were aligned on Special Olympics funding, despite public evidence to the contrary.
"I am pleased and grateful the President and I see eye-to-eye on this issue and that he has decided to fund our Special Olympics grant," DeVos said in a statement. "This is funding I have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years."
Her statement did not detail why she was fighting to cut Special Olympics funding in public while also fighting for the funding behind the scenes, or why the president would have to override her if they saw eye-to-eye.