In the wake of the Jan. 6 siege on the United States Capitol by a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has resigned. The wife of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the first member of the defeated President’s Cabinet to quit in the wake of the insurrection fueled by Trump’s insistence that he actually won what he calls a “stolen” 2020 election “by a landslide.” Chao’s resignation is effective Jan. 11.
In a statement to U.S. Department of Transportation employees posted on her Twitter account, Chao, a veteran of several Republican Administrations, said:
“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside. I am tremendously proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country and I will never forget the commitment you have for this Department and the United States of America. I am hopeful that many of you will carry forward our vision to improve the lives of Americans through this Department and beyond.
“Today, I am announcing my resignation as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to take effect on Monday, January 11. We will help my announced successor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department.”
Among other Administration Officials who have resigned since Wednesday’s riots, in which five, among them one police officer, died and 60 police officers were injured, are former White House Press Secretary and First Lady Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham; Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews; Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger; White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta; U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland and former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; and other officials from the Commerce Department and National Security Council. More resignations followed.