Following the mob of President Donald Trump supporters storming Capitol Hill during the congressional certification of President-Elect Joe Biden, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsey DeVos announced their resignations.
Chao announced her resignation on Thursday and was the first cabinet official to do so, amid the backlash against Trump for allegedly fomenting the violent protest the day prior.
“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 am sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside,” Chao posted on Twitter.
Chao announced her resignation will take effect on Jan. 11. She stated her office will help with the transition to successor Pete Buttigieg, who was nominated by President-Elect Biden last week.
Following Chao’s resignation on Thursday, DeVos also submitted her resignation from Trump’s cabinet. She also cited the behavior of Trump supporters at Capitol Hill as her reasoning.
Chao, who is married to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, previously served as the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009.
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“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,” Chao said in a letter addressed to the Department of Transportation colleagues. “I am hopeful that many of you will carry forward our vision to improve the lives of Americans through this department and beyond.”
Both Chao ad DeVos nearly served every day of Trump’s presidency. Both were named as nominations for their respective posts following Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in November 2016 and were confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January 2017.