After the events that occurred last Wednesday, when President Trump’s rhetoric resulted in an angry mob storming the Capitol, many top White House officials have chosen to resign— even though there is less than two weeks remaining in Trump’s tenure.
Those who have jumped ship include education secretary Betsy DeVos, who submitted her resignation letter on Thursday, according to the New York Times. In the letter, she denounced the events of Wednesday, while directly blaming Trump for the incident.
“There is no mistaking the impact (President Trump’s) rhetoric had on the situation,” she proclaimed, “and it is the inflection point for me.”
On Thursday, transportation secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell, also made the decision to step down, announcing her resignation through Twitter. In the Tweet, she denounced the violence that occurred on Wednesday, writing: “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.”
Other officials that have resigned include former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, deputy national security advisor Matt Pottinger, and the First Lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham— among others. However, the list is likely to continue growing.
As officials continue to resign, there has been growing public skepticism over their reasons for leaving—particularly so close to the end of Trump’s presidency. And some have gone as far as to condemn these resignations, claiming that they are simply attempts for public redemption.
Even though Trump has less than two weeks left in office, his future seems increasingly unclear. And politicians on both sides of the aisle have called for his impeachment— according to the New York Times. In the midst of all of this chaos, Trump decided to spend the weekend at Camp David, the presidential country retreat in Maryland. He later cancelled the trip. Choosing instead to spend the weekend hunkered down in the White House.
As the events of last Wednesday become clearer, it is impossible to ignore Trump’s role in the violence. His angry supporters were spurred into action by Trump’s dangerous rhetoric and groundless claims of election fraud. He has spent years developing a fiercely loyal following that rejects fact in favor of his fiction. In the wake of the chaos that occurred on January 6th, five people have lost their lives—including a Capitol policeman. And as Americans struggle to grapple with the incident, it is unclear what the lasting consequences of this will be.