Trump ally Betsy DeVos turns 2nd cabinet member to quit after riots, Elizabeth Warren calls her 'worst edu secy'
Transportation secretary Elaine Chao was the first member of the cabinet to step down after the Capitol riots
President Donald Trump is witnessing a major shipwreck ever since his loyalists on the street stormed the Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 6, to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election that went to Joe Biden. Five people, including one police officer, lost their lives after a violent mob breached the Congress building’s security and clashed with the law-keepers. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to assemble in Washington DC the same day the Congress confirmed Biden’s victory, was being accused for inciting the violence and the ugly incident has now left many in the GOP aghast with the outgoing president and it has, according to GOP strategist and Republican Voters Against Trump founder Sarah Longwell, seen “the beginnings of the fight for the soul of the Republican Party”.
That the mob violence has left a deep fissure in the red party was evident as members of the Trump administration started resigning, something which was less seen in the last four years when the pattern was more about hire-and-fire. Mick Mulvaney, the US special envoy for Northern Ireland and former acting White House chief of staff, resigned on Thursday, January 7, saying he couldn’t stay back in such a situation. Transportation secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, also expressed anguish over the violence and said she could not set it aside and quit. Her last day will be January 11, nine days before Trump’s tenure ends.
Education secretary Betsy DeVos, too, stepped down the same day to become the second serving member of Trump’s cabinet following the violence that the president allegedly incited. DeVos, who turned 63 on Friday, January 8, was once called by Trump a “brilliant and passionate education advocate” but got her nomination confirmed narrowly since her qualification to be in education governance was questioned.
On Thursday, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, penned a letter to Trump in which she blamed the latter’s role in inciting the “unconscionable” violent breach of the Capitol when the Congress was in session to certify Biden’s win.
According to reports, DeVos wrote in the letter: “We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. “Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the US Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is an inflection point for me.”
DeVos also said she was disappointed to think that impressionable children were watching things that unfolded at the Capitol and what they were learning.
DeVos’s rocky tenure as the education secretary concluded just a month short of four years. During this time, she emerged as one of the president’s most loyal supporters. But on Wednesday, she was the first member of the outgoing cabinet to condemn the riots to say on Twitter: “The peaceful transfer of power is what separates American representative democracy from banana republics...the work of the people must go on.”
'Worst education secretary ever'
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren slammed DeVos over her decision to resign. Tweeting a Bloomberg report on the news, the veteran Democrat lashed out at the former education secretary saying: “Betsy DeVos has never done her job to help America’s students. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that she’d rather quit than do her job to help invoke the 25th Amendment.” She then called DeVos the “worst Secretary of Education ever”.
Betsy DeVos has never done her job to help America’s students. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that she’d rather quit than do her job to help invoke the 25th Amendment.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 8, 2021
Good riddance, Betsy. You were the worst Secretary of Education ever. https://t.co/im1IgGQVSp
Besides the top two cabinet members and Mulvaney, a number of other members working for the Trump administration also resigned in the wake of Capitol violence. They include Stephanie Grisham, the chief of staff of First Lady Melania Trump; Rickie Niceta, White House social secretary; Matt Pottinger, deputy national security advisor; Sarah Matthews, deputy press secretary and others.