‘Her Presidency Was Untenable’: Elise Stefanik Says ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Testimony Led To Harvard President’s Downfall

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Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York said Tuesday that former Harvard President Claudine Gay’s “morally bankrupt” testimony rendered her presidency of the Ivy League school “untenable” after allegations of plagiarism came to light.

Gay resigned her position as president of Harvard University on Tuesday following multiple allegations of plagiarism and fallout from her testimony about antisemitism at the university. Gay refused to say whether students and applicants would be held accountable for using phrases like “from the river to the sea,” which has connotations of wiping out Israel, during her Dec. 5 appearance before the House Education and Workforce Committee when questioned by Stefanik. (RELATED: ‘DEI Protected Person’: Alan Dershowitz Explains Why Harvard Pres May Survive Plagiarism Scandal)

“I say, John, that all three university presidents gave morally bankrupt testimony at the now infamous congressional hearing to a very specific moral question, does calling for the genocide of Jews violate your university’s code of conduct? And one after the other, whether it was MIT, Penn or Harvard failed to answer correctly, they answered it depends on the context,” Stefanik told “America Reports co-host John Roberts.


“It does not depend on the context and as a Harvard graduate, we have seen a failure of academic integrity, which is a cornerstone of any higher education institution,” Stefanik continued. “So I called for her resignation as I did for all three because of their abject failure in the congressional testimony and their failure to protect Jewish students. This is long overdue.”

Stefanik said that the testimony, which also led to University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill resigning under pressure after the school lost a $100 million donation following her testimony, sparked a backlash against the elite schools.

“This accountability would not have happened were it not for that congressional hearing, and I think what it forced was greater scrutiny of her position as the president of Harvard and you have to remember, Gillian, she was selected as president of Harvard in a shorter executive search than any other previous president and they should have found out that there were 50 credible allegations of plagiarism and the fact that the Harvard corporation we now know knew about that before the congressional hearing and tried to cover it up and threaten media outlets to sue them is a disgrace,” Stefanik told “America Reports” guest co-host Gillian Turner.

Gay allegedly plagiarized more than 40 times across eight of her academic works, according to multiple complaints obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Gay claimed in her resignation letter that she faced threats and personal attacks fueled by racial animus, according to The New York Times.

“When you are a board of any university you need to make sure that your president, faculty and students uphold the rigors of academic integrity and instead they wanted to hide this from their students, from their community, so this accountability would not have happened were it not for the very clear moral questions at the hearing, but there were many people who spoke out and really it was the over 1 billion views because of the pathetic testimony that led to this day,” Stefanik said.

“Harvard knew deep down her presidency was untenable, but I have been concerned they tried to make it a political issue. It’s not political, it’s about academic integrity and moral leadership, and I’m a Harvard graduate myself, I know that the motto of Harvard is Veritas – truth, and the Harvard corporation failed in the responsibility to oversee this institution. They should have dealt with it immediately after the congressional hearing like Penn did.”

Gay did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.


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