Elaine Chao Is First Cabinet Member to Resign

Transportation secretary Elaine Chao cites Wednesday's riots in DC
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2021 12:48 PM CST
First Cabinet Member Resigns After Violence
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, wait for McConnell to be sworn in in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021.   (Samuel Corum/Pool via AP)

The biggest White House official yet is resigning after Wednesday's violence at the Capitol. The Washington Post reports that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is stepping down, the first Cabinet official to do so. Chao also is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. CNN's Kaitlan Collins tweets that in a resignation email, Chao writes that she was disturbed by Wednesday's events "in a way that I simply cannot set aside." The email sets Jan. 11 as the day her resignation takes effect. Chao has served in Trump's Cabinet for all four years of his term.

Jonathan Swan of Axios confirms that what happened Wednesday is the reason Chao is resigning, and the site has the full email Chao is sending colleagues in her department. "Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed," she writes. "As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside." (She is not the only White House official to resign over this.)

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