Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigns following assault on Capitol Hill


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos became the last Trump administration official to step down on Wednesday evening following the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. She said in her resignation letter to President Trump that there was “no doubt about the impact of your rhetoric on the situation, and that is the inflection point for me.”

DeVos insisted in his letter that “history will show we were right in our repeated demand and support for the schools to reopen this year and to bring all American students back to learning.” But, she said, “impressionable children” watched the riots on Capitol Hill and “we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they will emulate.”

Her resignation came hours after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced her resignation, saying it was effective as of Monday. Chao and DeVos are both members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet, and President-elect Joe Biden has already announced his choices to replace them.

“Yesterday our nation experienced a traumatic and utterly preventable act as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed.” Chao said in a letter to his colleagues posted on Twitter. “As I’m sure many of you do, this has deeply troubled me in a way that I cannot put aside.”

Chao and DeVos have been in the Trump administration from the start.

His resignation comes as Mr. Trump has expressed his frustrations with McConnell, who opposed his call for $ 2,000 stimulus checks and refused to oppose the electoral college results.

The following Trump administration officials have also resigned:

  • Stephanie Grisham, Chief of Staff to the First Lady

  • Sarah Matthews, Deputy Press Officer

  • Rickie Niceta, Social Secretary of the White House

  • Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor

  • Mick Mulvaney, special envoy to Northern Ireland

  • John Costello, Assistant Under Secretary of Commerce for Intelligence and Security

  • Tyler Goodspeed, Interim President of CEA

  • Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

  • Anthony Ruggiero, NSC Senior Director for Counterproliferation and Biodefense

  • Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Five senior FAA officials, all named Trump administration politicians, also resigned following the violence on Capitol Hill. Arjun Garg, Legal Counsel and Acting Deputy Administrator of the FAA, Brianna Manzelli, Deputy Administrator for Communications, Kirk Shaffer, Deputy Administrator for Airports, Bailey Edwards, Deputy Administrator for Policy, International Affairs and Environment and Andrew Giacini, Acting Administrator for Legislative Affairs, all resigned.

The resignations come with less than two weeks in the Trump administration.

Mulvaney, the former acting White House chief of staff, said Thursday morning that he called Mike Pompeo on Wednesday evening to let him know of his resignation. “I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” he told CNBC.

Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman, also said he expected more resignations in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“Those who choose to stay, and I’ve spoken to a few of them, choose to stay because they fear the president will put someone to replace them who could make matters worse,” a- he declared. “So I’m not condemning those who choose not to quit, I understand that, but I can’t stay here. Not after yesterday. You can’t look at this yesterday and think ‘I want to be a part of this’ in any way , shape or form. “

Mulvaney has held many roles in the Trump administration. He was director of the Office of Management and Budget and interim White House chief of staff, a post he held for nearly 15 months. Mr Trump chose Mulvaney as his special envoy to Northern Ireland in March 2020.

John Costello, an official from the department of commerce, said in a press release later Thursday he has “no choice” but to resign following “an unprecedented attack on the very heart of our democracy – instigated by a sitting president”.

“The president has long ignored and diminished the rule of law and the constitution,” said Costello, the assistant under secretary for commerce for intelligence and security. “Yesterday this culminated in a violent sedition against the US Congress in an attempt to overturn a legally recognized and valid election.”

Kris Van Cleave and Kristin Brown contributed to this report.

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