According to a report from the Associate Press, President-elect Donald Trump first offered the Secretary of Education post to Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., who ultimately turned it down.
The man who helped propel the president-elect to the presidency and who has advocated for major reforms of the national education system turned that offer down, though. In an interview with AP, he said Trump wanted a four- to six-year commitment but he couldn't leave the university for more than two years.
Falwell also reportedly said he couldn't afford to work at a Cabinet-level job for longer than two years, and he didn't want to move his family—especially his 16-year-old daughter—closer to D.C. He said he believes charter school advocate Betsy DeVos, who ultimately got the nomination, is an "excellent choice."
The decision was seemingly an about-face from earlier comments Falwell made after meeting with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence last week. According to press accounts, Falwell emerged from those meetings and said:
"I let them know one of my passions is reforming higher education and education in general. I told them I'd be willing—I have a lot of responsibilities here—but I'd be willing to serve in some capacity that sort of brings education back to some form of sanity."
Falwell, who is a lawyer, has led Liberty University since after his father's death in 2007. He endorsed Trump just prior to the start of the presidential primary season, which became a point of controversy with students and alumni alike.
Both Trump and Pence have spoken at the university's Convocation meetings during the 2016 election cycle.
The Presidential Transition Team has not publicly responded to the AP report, nor has it responded to requests for comment.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Incredible Savings, Inspiration and Encouragement from CHARISMA:
- End Of The Year - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
- Big Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, and more.
- FREE eCourses by CHARISMA: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Women Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.