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Chao resigns as U.S. Transportation Secretary; joins growing list of officials leaving after riots

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Posted at 2:01 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 14:44:27-05

WASHINGTON — Elaine Chao has resigned as the United States Transportation Secretary, becoming the highest-ranking and latest administration official to resign from the Trump administration following the violent and deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump protesters.

Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced her decision Thursday afternoon.

"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 said. "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."

Chao said she and her team will help with the transition to the Biden administration. President-elect Joe Biden has announced Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for Transportation Secretary.

Her resignation is effective Monday.

Chao's announcement joins others who have resigned in the last day following the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol.

John Costello
Costello was Deputy Assistant Secreatry for Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce.

"Yesterday's events were an unprecedented attack on the very core of our democracy — incited by a sitting president. The president has long disregarded and diminished the rule of law and the constitution," he said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Tyler Goodspeed
Goodspeed was the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

"The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable," he told Jim Tankersley with the New York Times.

Stephanie Grisham
Grisham was the Chief of Staff for First Lady Melania Trump. She also previously served as White House communications director and press secretary.

"I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump's mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration," she said in a statement, according to NBC News.

Sarah Matthews
Matthews was White House Deputy Press Secretary.

"As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today," she said in a statement. "Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power."

Mick Mulvaney
Mulvaney was currently a special envoy to Northern Ireland and former White House Chief of Staff.

"I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.

Mulvaney has served in the Trump administration for nearly the president’s entire term in various roles, including at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget.

Anna Cristina Niceta
Niceta was the White House social secretary, she resigned Wednesday according to ABC News.

Matt Pottinger
Pottinger was the deputy National Security Adviser. He reportedly said he was "dismayed" by the siege and "Trump's role in inciting violence."

Ryan Tully
Tully was senior director for European and Russian Affairs at the National Security Council.