January 16, 2021
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Resigns, Blames Trump For Inflaming Tensions At Capitol Riot

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos handed in her resignation on Thursday, according to a Wall Street Journal report, making her the second Trump administration Cabinet member to quit over the Wednesday violence at the U.S. Capitol. 

President Trump Meets With His Cabinet At The White House

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos listens during a cabinet meeting in the East Room of the … [+] White House on May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.

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Key Facts

DeVos called the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob “the inflection point” in a resignation letter Thursday, and passed blame to the president for inflaming tensions.

“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” DeVos wrote in the resignation letter addressed to Trump.

DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who has faced harsh criticism from Democrats since she was nominated by Trump in 2016, urged Congress to reject President-elect Joe Biden’s education agenda in a farewell letter earlier this week.

DeVos’ resignation is effective Friday, Jan. 8.

Crucial Quote

“We should be highlighting and celebrating your administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people,” wrote DeVos in the letter the Trump administration for what it has “achieved” during her tenure as education secretary. “Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business.”

Chief Critic

DeVos issued a statement criticizing the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, calling those who breached the building “an angry mob.” “The peaceful transfer of power is what separates American representative democracy from banana republics… ” wrote DeVos. “An angry mob cannot be allowed to ask our Capitol and impede this process. The disruptions and violence must end, the law must be upheld.”

Key Background

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), also announced her resignation on Thursday, saying the Capitol attack left her “deeply troubled in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

Further Reading

“Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Resigns Over ‘Traumatic’ Capitol Attack” (Forbes)

“Elaine Chao, Mick Mulvaney: Here Are The White House Officials Who Have Resigned After Capitol Breach So Far” (Forbes)