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Warren Defends Claim She Lost 1971 Teaching Job Due to Pregnancy

Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a town-hall event in Peterborough, N.H., July 8, 2019. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren pushed back against allegations that she had lied about losing a teaching position in 1971 due to her pregnancy during an interview with CBS News on Monday night.

“All I know is I was 22 years old, I was six months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job,” Warren told CBS News, referring to job as a speech pathologist with in Riverdale, N.J.

Her comments come in the wake of pushback that Warren has been untruthful about her discussion of the situation on the campaign trail. Warren has repeatedly described the story as one where she was “shown the door” because she became pregnant after one year teaching at the school. The Massachusetts Democrat has also repeatedly referenced the event as crucial for her path to politics, as it dashed her dreams of becoming a public school teacher and prompted her shift into public service.

But in Warren’s first known public discussion of the event, during a 2007 interview at the University of California, Berkeley, she gave a different account, saying “I worked in a public school system with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year … I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me.’ I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years.”

Warren told CBS News that while she did not realize she had changed the phrasing in her discussion of the incident, she was moved to share more details about the incident due to her move into public life. “After becoming a public figure I opened up more about different pieces in my life and this was one of them. I wrote about it in my book when I became a U.S. Senator,” she said in a statement released by her campaign.

According to records obtained by The Washington Free Beacon on Monday, the Riverdale Board of Education approved a second-year teaching contract for a young Elizabeth Warren. Minutes from a board meeting two months later show that Warren offered a resignation instead, which was “accepted with regret.”

But Warren disputed the record, telling CBS News that she was in fact offered the job, but when her pregnancy was revealed the offer was rescinded.

“I was pregnant, but nobody knew it. And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck, and said he was going to hire someone else for the job,” Warren said.

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