Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning effective Monday, becoming the highest ranking member of President Donald Trump’s administration to resign in protest after the pro-Trump insurrection at Capitol.
In a statement Thursday, Chao, who is married to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, said the violent attack on the Capitol “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
She said her department will continue to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s designated nominee to head the department, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Trump’s Cabinet to remove him from office following Wednesday’s violent assault on the Capitol by the president’s supporters.
In a statement Thursday, Schumer said the attack on the Capitol “was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president.” He added, “This president should not hold office one day longer.”
Schumer said Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and immediately remove Trump from office. He added, “If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
Facebook will bar Trump from posting on its system at least until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
In a post Thursday morning, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of allowing Trump to use the platform is too great, following his incitement of a mob that later touched off a deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Zuckerberg says Trump's account will be locked "for at least the next two weeks" but could remain locked indefinitely.
Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday also temporarily locked President Donald Trump's accounts after he repeatedly posted false accusations about the integrity of the election.
A message left with the White House on Thursday morning was not immediately returned.
Former Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump’s conduct as a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol was a “betrayal of his office and supporters.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Barr said Thursday that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”
Barr was one of Trump’s most loyal and ardent defenders in the Cabinet.
His comments come a day after angry and armed protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress members to halt the ongoing vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election and then flee from the House and Senate chambers.