Mar 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Watchdog: DeVos made at least $225 million while in Trump's Cabinet

Betsy DeVos, U.S. secretary of education, listens during a Coronavirus Task Force news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Betsy DeVos, then secretary of education, listens at the White House in 2020. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reported earning at least $225 million in outside income during her tenure in the Trump administration, according a report by the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

For the record: CREW said the full amount in outside earnings from dividends, interest and rents during her time in the post could be "potentially well over $414 million," based on its analysis of three of DeVos' financial disclosures conducted by CREW.

  • "It is impossible to know the exact amount because DeVos’s income is reported in broad ranges, but we do know for a fact that she made nine figures during her four years in office," CREW said in its report, published Monday.
  • "Many assets she reported are simply listed as 'over $5 million' or 'over $1 million."
  • CREW explains it is difficult to ascertain DeVos’ exact income as the figures are reported in broad ranges. Many assets are listed as "over $5 million" or "over $1 million" rather than exact figures.

The big picture: DeVos' family owns the marketing firm Amway and she was the richest member of former President Trump's Cabinet. She pledged to donate her salary to charity during her time in the administration.

  • "She maintained a stake in Neurocore, a brain performance company targeting children, and failed to recuse from matters related to the company despite the potential for conflicts of interest," CREW said.
  • "She pledged that her husband would stop making political donations for the duration of her tenure, but he continued to donate throughout the 2018 and 2020 election cycles."
  • Representatives for Devos did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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