capitol riot

Everyone Who Has Quit the Trump Administration After Capitol Attack

Former acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. Photo: Getty Images

President Trump has been attempting to overturn the results of the presidential election for weeks. He has been fomenting racial strife, chaos, and discord for five years. But for some veterans of his administration, the mob scene at the Capitol on Wednesday was, at long, long last, the breaking point. (Likely helping along their decision: there are only two weeks left in the president’s term anyway.) As lower-level staffers reportedly worry about post-administration employment, below is a list of who has fled the foundering administration so far.

Chad Wolf resigned from his role as acting Homeland Security secretary on Monday, describing his decision as one “warranted by recent events.” Wolf’s departure is notable in light of his staunch support of the authoritarian tactics the president demanded to be used this summer against Black Lives Matter protestors. He will be replaced by Pete Gaynor, the FEMA administrator.

Betsy DeVos resigned from her role as Education Secretary, according to a Thursday night report from the Wall Street Journal. “That behavior was unconscionable for our country,” she wrote in her resignation. “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Elaine Chao stepped down as Transportation secretary on Thursday, citing Wednesday’s events as the impetus for her resignation in an email to staff.

Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the first Cabinet member to leave the administration in the wake of the Capitol riot.

Mick Mulvaney, a self-proclaimed “right-wing nutjob” who memorably predicted in November that the president would handle an election loss gracefully, has long been a Trump ultraloyalist for years, serving as the president’s chief of staff for a year among other high-profile roles. He had been serving as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland but told CNBC he was quitting. “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 said. Trump is “not the same as he was eight months ago.” he added, unconvincingly.

Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser. Pottinger, Bloomberg reports, was inspired to do so by Wednesday’s violence. His boss, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, is also considering resigning, according to CNN.

Sarah Matthews, White House deputy press secretary. Matthews said in a statement that “I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted,” but that, “As someone who worked in the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”

Tyler Goodspeed, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable,” he told the New York Times.

Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff for First Lady Melania Trump. Grisham, who served as the White House press secretary for nine months — though she never held an on-camera briefing during that time — joined the Trump team as a press liaison all the way back in 2015. In a statement announcing her departure, she did not mention Wednesday’s chaotic events.

Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, White House social secretary. Niceta, who was in charge of events ranging from state visits to the Easter-egg roll, did not provide a reason for her exit.

Elinore F. McCance-Katz, the assistant secretary of the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, announced her resignation Thursday night: “This behavior was totally unacceptable and in my own heart I simply am not able to continue. I believe that we are given certain life situations where we must make the difficult decisions and we get one chance to do it the right way.”

Anthony Ruggiero, the senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense at the National Security Council, has resigned according to CNN. Ruggiero is one of the NSC’s North Korea specialists.

John Costello, assistant secretary for intelligence and security at the Commerce Department, blamed President Trump for inciting Wednesday’s mob in a note explaining his resignation.

Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, decided to leave his post early after Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.

Who Has Quit the Trump Administration After Capitol Attack