WASHINGTON – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos submitted her resignation to President Donald Trump on Thursday night, becoming the second member of the Trump Administration to resign.
In a letter to the President, DeVos cited Mr. Trump’s response to the riot on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by his supporters that created violence and chaos in the nation’s capital.
“We are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business,” DeVos wrote. “That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
DeVos’ resignation comes after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned after taking “time to absorb” the insurrection on Capitol Hill and Mr. Trump’s response to it.
Chao discussed the matter with staff and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, before announcing she was resigning around 11 a.m. Thursday morning.
DeVos departs the Department of Education after being nominated by Mr. Trump in 2016 to lead the department. DeVos, a top Republican donor and school choice activist, had her tenure marred by criticism of her education policies.
Most recent, she received backlash for being absent from the coronavirus task force briefings despite the growing focus over the debate of schools remaining open in the spring or re-open as scheduled in the fall. DeVos had been a heavy supporter for Charter Schools.
She also received backlash for rolling back Obama-era regulations and guidelines, including new protections for college students accused of sexual assault.
“Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us,” DeVos wrote.
The sudden departures come after Trump supporters — encouraged by Mr. Trump — breached the Capitol on Wednesday and threw the nation’s capital in chaos and violence. Hundreds of pro-Trump rioters broke through the barriers around the Capitol and eventually worked their way inside, forcing lawmakers to be evacuated.
Mr. Trump only made a video statement only after being pushed by his aides after being told he needed to do it for the sake of the country. He told his supporters to “go home” but praised them at the same time, telling him he loves them.
“I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate,” DeVos said in the letter. “They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday.”
This story has been updated with additional information.