The storm on the Capitol in Washington also causes horror in many circles around the Trump administration. After Transport Minister Chao, Education Minister DeVos has now also submitted her resignation.
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After the riots by Trump supporters, a veritable series of resignations began in the White House. After Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger and First Lady Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, other President officials, including Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Education Elisabeth DeVos and U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, threw in the towel on Thursday.
Chao is the first cabinet member to withdraw from government after Wednesday’s harrowing events. The minister announced that she would give up her position on Monday. “Yesterday our country had a traumatic and totally avoidable event when supporters of the President stormed the Capitol after a rally he was speaking at. As I am sure many of you have, I was deeply concerned in ways that I can’t push aside. “
Chao is the wife of Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was once a close ally of Trump. He was then criticized by the president when he did not want to support his attempts to overturn the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election on November 3. Chao has been Minister of Transportation since Trump began his tenure in January 2017.
Education Minister Betsy DeVos announced as the second cabinet member in her letter to Trump circulated by the “New York Times” that she would step down this Friday. Looking at the violent protests on Wednesday, DeVos wrote: “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric has had on the situation and that is the turning point for me.” Many Democrats, but also several Republicans, accuse Trump of instigating the attack. DeVos has been a member of Trump’s cabinet since February 2017.
Donald Trump shakes the hand of Elisabeth DeVos (archive image): The US Secretary of Education resigns. (Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday”
Mulvaney, ex-White House chief of staff, told CNBC about his motivation: “I can’t stay here, not after yesterday.” He had informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his resignation. The job as special envoy for Northern Ireland was only a part-time job, said Mulvaney.
He himself had been deposed as Chief of Staff by Trump because he admitted in October that military aid to Ukraine had been frozen on the orders of the President. He had stayed at the post for a little over a year. Regarding other possible resignations, Mulvaney said, “Those who stay, and I have spoken to some, are only doing so because they fear that the president might put someone worse in their place.”
A report from CNN appears to confirm the statement: According to an insider, several of the president’s top security advisors have received calls from their predecessors. Among the recipients are said to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Intelligence Coordinator John Ratcliffe and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. They are said to have been asked to stay – for reasons of national security.
First lady spokeswoman throws down
On Wednesday evening, First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and former White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham resigned from office with immediate effect. Grisham said it was an honor to serve in the White House. She is proud of the many achievements of President Donald Trump’s administration. She gave no reasons for her unexpected move. It therefore remained unclear whether it was related to the storm on the Capitol.
Also on Wednesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews and Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, who oversaw White House events, resigned.
Other advisors followed
That night, Deputy National Security Advisor to the Presidential Office, Matt Pottinger, followed suit. Several media reported unanimously that Pottinger was reacting to Wednesday’s violence. Security advisor O’Brien confirmed Pottinger’s departure from Twitter without giving any reasons. Also on Wednesday, according to CNN information, Tyler Goodspeed, a leading economic advisor, submitted his resignation.
Later on Thursday, Ryan Tully, Trump’s senior advisor to Russia and Europe, and John Costello, a senior economics minister, also resigned.
After Trump’s speech, supporters stormed the Capitol
On Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters forcibly entered the Capitol in Washington and interrupted a joint Senate-House meeting to confirm the election of Trump’s successor, Joe Biden. A woman was shot dead by the police during the riot. A police officer also died on Thursday (local time) as a result of injuries sustained while working at the Capitol. The events were preceded by a speech by the elected president to thousands of his supporters, in which he called for a march to Congress.
Only a day later it was announced that Trump strongly condemned the violent actions of his supporters. The President and his administration opposed this outbreak of violence “in the strongest”, said President Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany at a press conference on Washington. In a video message on Thursday evening, Trump called for reconciliation.
In response to the riots, however, the mayor of the US capital, Muriel Bowser, extended the state of emergency by two weeks. This is to ensure the security of Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Democrat is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.