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.
The reason: 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.”
It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the U.S. Department of Transportation. pic.twitter.com/rFxPsBoh6t
— Sec. Elaine Chao (@SecElaineChao) January 7, 2021
- 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.
Feature Image via Getty