Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, a long-time member of President Donald Trump’s administration and wife to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), announced that she will resign from her position early next week.
The Washington Post, citing “two individuals familiar with her plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the matter,” was the first to report on Chao’s resignation plans, which came the day after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in objection to the certification of the electoral college vote. One woman was killed by Capitol police, and three other people who were not inside the building died in what has been referred to as medical incidences (the nature of those deaths isn’t clear).
Chao subsequently released a statement addressed to the department, explaining that she “simply” couldn’t “set aside” Wednesday’s events: “Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I cannot simply set aside.”
The Transportation Secretary emphasized that she was still “proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country” and was hopeful the department would continue in service of a vision to improve the lives of Americans. She said her last day as Secretary would be Monday, January 11, 2021.
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