A probe into the Biden administration will reveal that government officials “are intimately involved with critical race theory” and the ideology’s advocates, a former top Trump administration official told Fox News in an exclusive interview.
Russ Vought, the former Office of Management and Budget director, last week demanded the Department of Education hand over records that could potentially show ties between the Biden administration and the Abolitionist Teaching Network, a pro-critical race theory group.
“We want to know the extent to which the connections are there within the federal bureaucracy,” Vought, who now heads the Center for Renewing America, a conservative think tank, told Fox News.
“I think what it’s going to reveal is that Biden administration officials are intimately involved with critical race theory, that they are tracking with many of the influential people in the critical race theory community,” Vought continued.
REPUBLICANS PILE ON BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FOR PROMOTING CRT GROUP
The Department of Education, in a handbook intended to help public schools and spend funding provided through the American Rescue Plan, linked to a guide the Abolitionist Teaching Network published. The guide included rhetoric often associated with critical race theory and referred to whiteness as a form of oppression.
Hours after Fox News reported the connection, a Department of Education spokesperson said hours “it was an error” to include the link to the Abolitionist Teaching Network.
“But we believe it’s a little bit more than that,” Vought told Fox News. “They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. This just a reflection of the political poison that is critical race theory.”
“You’re talking about 13,000 different schools that that April guidance went out to, impacting $200 billion worth of federal funding,” he continued. “It’s one aspect of the critical race theory indoctrination process.”
“It’s evidence of the way that this theory, this ideology is embedded in the school system,” Vought said. “I think it’s had an impact. You certainly can’t just erase the link and expect that the influence is going to go away.”
Vought filed a Freedom of Information Act request for various communications between Department of Education officials and the Abolitionist Teaching Network, as well as any communications regarding the radical group or its materials. He also requested related communications between the department and the White House.
He said the Center for Renewing America planned to sue the Department of Education if it did not hand over the records.
At least two top officials with the department have links to the network’s board chair, co-founder Bettina Love, Fox News revealed July 22.
The San Diego Unified School District paid Love $11,000 to conduct a training seminar in 2020, records previously reported by Fox News show. At the time, the Department of Education’s second in command, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, headed San Diego’s school system.
Marten wasn’t confirmed until after the Department of Education published its handbook in April, though she was nominated months earlier.
Love also served as the keynote speaker for an event in 2020 with the National Education Association, where acting Assistant Secretary Donna Harris-Aikens served as a senior director, Fox News previously reported. She now heads the office that developed the handbook that promoted Love’s organization.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network and Love have a history of pushing radical agendas.
“Abolitionist Teachers” should “[b]uild a school culture that engages in healing and advocacy. This requires a commitment to learning from students, families, and educators who disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression,” the group states in its guide.
And Love said during a webinar: “I want us to be feared.”
Neither the Department of Education nor the Abolitionist Teaching Network responded to a request for comment.
Matt Leach contributed to this report.