(A Trump nomination) “would be an utter, complete and total disaster. If you’re a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot, you’re going to have a hard time being president of the United States, and you’re going to do irreparable damage to the party.” – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), December 2015
One day after an armed mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters breached – for the first time since the War of 1812 – the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, some members of the embattled Administration – including one Cabinet member – have tendered their resignations to express their distaste for the 45th President.
Today, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that she is stepping down from her post effective January 11.
In a message to Department of Transportation staff that she also shared on Twitter, Chao, one of the GOP’s most influential and wealthy women (with a net worth of $24 million), said that yesterday’s attempt by the President’s supporters to reverse the election had troubled her.
“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.”
Chao, who had previously served as President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, is thus the highest-ranking member of the outgoing Trump Administration to resign since yesterday. Also departing are:
- First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham
- Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews
- Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger
- Special U.S. Envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney
According to Reuters, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien briefly considered leaving, but now “has no plans to quit.”
Per Reuters: “Further departures are especially likely at the NSC, one of the officials said. It coordinates U.S. foreign policy among federal agencies and maintains close contacts with foreign governments, so the loss of key staff could raise questions about national security as the new administration takes over.”