Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation under the Trump administration, announced her resignation on Thursday afternoon, citing the pro-Trump riots on the Capitol as the reason for her early leave.
In an email to her colleagues shared on her Twitter account, Chao announced that she would be stepping down from her position because of what occurred “specifically yesterday,” a source told Axios
- “Yesterday our nation experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable act as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” Chao wrote in the email. “As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I could not simply set aside.”
- Chao decided to resign to take “time to absorb” the riot on Capitol Hill and the president’s response, a senior administration official told CNN.
The significance: Among other Trump administration officials who have announced their departures, Chao is the highest-ranking member, being the first Cabinet secretary to resign.
- She is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
- The official added that Chao will officially resign on Jan. 11, one week before Inauguration Day, which will give her staff time for a smooth transition.
- President-elect Joe Biden has picked Pete Buttigieg, his former Democratic opponent, as Chao’s successor.
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