Elaine Chao Is First Cabinet Member To Resign Following Capitol Hill Riots

By Bill Galluccio

January 7, 2021

The fallout continues one day after a group of protesters who support President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building during a joint session of Congress. On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced she is resigning, making her the first member of President Trump's cabinet to step down. She said the events at the Capitol "deeply troubled me in a way I cannot simply set aside."

"I am tremendously proud of the many accomplishments we were able to achieve together for our country, and I will never forget the commitment you have for this Department and the United States of America," she said.

Chao said that her last day will be on January 11 and that she will help Pete Buttigieg, who was named by President-elect Joe Biden as her successor, as he prepares to take over the department in the coming weeks.

She joins a growing list of officials, including deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger and John Costello, the Commerce Department's deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and security, who stepped down in the wake of the riots.

Chao served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. On January 31, 2017, she became the head of the Department of Transportation.

Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Photo: Getty Images

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