In a resignation letter on Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for tensions in a violent attack on the nation’s seat of democracy. She says, “The impact that your rhetoric has had on the situation is not wrong and it is an inflection point for me.”
In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies backed by President-elect Joe Biden and defend the Trump administration’s policies, which Biden has promised to eliminate.
Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Ellen Chao tweeted on Thursday that he is resigning. He was the first cabinet member to leave a crowd of his supporters supporting the US Capitol in response to President Donald Trump’s response.
“It has been a lifetime honor to serve the US Department of Transportation,” she tweeted on Thursday.
In a statement to the leadership agency, Chao wrote that he was “very upset” by the events at the Capitol Building.
He said, “I am very proud of the many achievements I am making for my country and I can never forget the commitment you made to this department and the United States.”
The wife of Mitch McConnell, a veteran of Republican administrations and prominent leader of the Senate, Chao rose to her position with a focus on reviving the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney also resigned from his post as US Special Envoy in Northern Ireland. He told CNBC in an interview that he called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday night to tell him that he would resign.
“I can’t do it. I can’t live,” he said. “It’s nothing. It doesn’t affect the outcome. It doesn’t affect the infection. But that’s exactly what I’ve got, right here, and it’s a situation that I really enjoy doing “But you can’t do that. And I won’t be surprised to see myself and friends resign during the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Asked whether, in retaliation, he considered himself a supporter of Trump, he said “this is a reasonable question.”
“Clearly he is not the same as he was eight months ago, and certainly the people advising him are not the same as they were eight months ago, and this leads to a dangerous kind of combination as you Saw it yesterday, ”Mulvaney said.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews resigned on Wednesday.
“I am proud to serve in the Trump administration and the policies we have implemented,” Matthews said in a statement to ABC News. “As someone worked in the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I will step out of my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
According to a White House official and person familiar with his resignation, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger also resigned on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, two employees of Melania Trump announced her resignation.
White House Social Secretary Ricky Niketa submitted his resignation in response to the protest, a source with direct knowledge said.
Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff and former White House press secretary, also resigned amid protests. He joined in April.
Grisham said in a statement, “It is an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to be part of Mrs. Trump’s mission and proud of the many achievements of this administration.” .
Less than a year later, Grisham stepped in as press secretary and communications for the White House.
He previously served in the East Wing as Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff.
Kayle McInnney transitioned to the West Wing to fill the role of press secretary.
As Trump’s third press secretary, Grisham replaced Sarah Sanders. As communications director, he succeeded former Fox News executive Bill Shine, assuming it had been lying vacant for several months. Her appointment was announced in a tweet by Melania Trump last June.
Grisham has been a longtime member and loyalist of the Trump administration, starting as a campaign aide in 2015 and later serving as a deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer. Grisham developed a reputation for prioritizing the privacy of the first family while working for the first lady.
During his tenure as press secretary, Grisham never gave a traditional briefing, stating that they had become “too many theaters”. He publicly criticized the press several times, stating that the media does not routinely cover the president’s successes.
Grisham, who appeared on several news programs including ABC’s “Good Morning America” last December, fiercely defended the president during his impeachment. In that interview with ABC News head anchor George Stephanopolous, Grisham insisted the president “do nothing wrong” with regard to withdrawing aid from Ukraine. He also said that Trump attempted to justify derogatory remarks about the deceased husband of the Michigan congressman, who supported impeachment, stating that the president was “counter-puncher.”
Grisham came under fire in November 2019 for claiming no evidence that Obama administration colleagues left behind taunting notes for incoming Trump officials as they vacated their White House offices in 2017. Many of Obama’s employees refused to leave any negative messages, and some even shared letters. As an encouragement, he said he left behind his heirs.
ABC News, AP and CNN contributed to this report.
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