Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Becomes 2nd Trump Cabinet Member To Resign After Capitol Riot
Betsy DeVos has announced her resignation from her position as Secretary of Education. DeVos, like Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao yesterday, cited President Donald Trump’s inciting of rioters who stormed the Capitol building as her reason for resigning.
While Chao’s resignation was announced via her Twitter account, DeVos’ letter is addressed to Trump and not distributed publicly. CNN obtained a copy of the secretary’s letter which read, “there is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
DeVos has been increasingly vocal against Trump since Wednesday’s riots. In a statement the same day riots began, DeVos wrote, “The eyes of America’s children and students – the rising generation who will inherit the republic we leave them – are watching what is unfolding in Washington today. We must set a better example for them, and we must teach them the solemn obligations and duties that come with the title ‘American.'”
DeVos has long been considered a Trump loyalist as a major Republican donor and supporter of education options like charter schools. In the Senate hearing for her appointment in 2017, DeVos was specifically questioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) about whether her substantial monetary contributions to the Republican party influenced her appointment as secretary – DeVos said they did not. Her appointment was confirmed only after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie, the first in history for a presidential cabinet appointment.
DeVos was also heavily criticized by White House insiders for rarely attending coronavirus meetings in 2020. Her position as Secretary of Education meant she had considerable influence in deciding the fate of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeVos’ letter to Trump urged him to carry out a peaceful transfer of power writing that it “is what separates American representative democracy from banana republics.”