Most of the resignees explicitly blamed their departures on the president’s refusing to accept his election loss and urging a mob to march to the Capitol during Wednesday’s raucous “Save America March.”
Those who’ve jumped ship just two weeks before the official handover on Jan. 20 include two Cabinet members — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao plus former Cabinet member Mick Mulvaney.
Previously a staunch Trump supporter, DeVos resigned on Thursday, citing the “unconscionable” riot that caused widespread destruction at the Capitol a day earlier.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” DeVos told Trump in her resignation, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
Chao was the first cabinet member to resign, making her announcement hours before DeVos on Thursday.
She is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a longtime Trump defender who has split with the president over his refusal to accept election defeat.
“As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside,” Chao said in announcing she will step down Jan. 11.
U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland
Mulvaney, the former White House Chief of Staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, resigned Thursday from his latest post as Northern Ireland envoy.
“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 told CNBC in an interview Thursday.
“Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in,” Mulvaney said.
Deputy National Security Adviser
Matt Pottinger was among the very first to resign, Bloomberg News reported of his Wednesday afternoon announcement.
Pottinger blamed Trump’s incitement of the protesters, sources told Bloomberg.
His boss, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, also weighed leaving, but was talked into staying by allies, the news service reported.
President Trump’s longtime press aide and senior adviser, Hicks will depart the White House during the week prior to Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
Hicks told colleagues, however, that she already planned to resign, and that her decision isn’t linked to the riot that claimed five lives, Bloomberg News reports.
First lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff
Grisham was also among the very first to submit a resignation, announcing her immediate departure Wednesday.
Grisham began working for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2015, and then served as White House deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer before the first lady hired her to be part of her staff in 2017.
Acting Chair, White House Council of Economic Advisers
Goodspeed cited the Capitol riots in resigning on Thursday.
A top adviser to the president, Goodspeed left it to his chief of staff, Rachael Slobodien, to confirm his stepping down.
“The events at the U.S. Capitol yesterday led Tyler to conclude his position was untenable,” she said in a statement.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health
McCance-Katz resigned Thursday night, explaining she could no longer continue working for the Trump administration due to the rioters’ “unacceptable” behavior.
She called her decision “difficult,” and did not explicitly mention Trump in her statement.
She did, however, say, “I cannot support language that results in incitement of violence and risks our very existence.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intelligence and Security
Costello announced his resignation on Thursday via his Twitter account.
“Yesterday’s events were an unprecedented attack on the very core of our democracy – incited by a sitting President,” he said in the post. “The President has long disregarded and diminished the rule of law and the Constitution. Yesterday, that culminated in violent sedition against the U.S. Congress for the purposes of overturning a legally recognized and valid election.”
Trump’s top White House adviser on Russia, Tully tendered his resignation on Thursday, Reuters reported.
He resigned over Wednesday’s storming of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters, a senior administration source told the wire service.
Members of the National Security Council
In addition to the above resignations, at least six National Security Council staffers have resigned, according to DefenseNews.com.
“They include the senior director for Africa, Erin Walsh; the head of the NSC’s bureau tracking weapons of mass destruction, Anthony Ruggiero; the top Europe and Russia adviser, Ryan Tully, and Mark Vandroff, the NSC’s senior director for defense policy,” the outlet reported.
Additionally, Rob Greenway, a top advisor to the president on the Middle East, was mulling his own departure, the outlet said.
Deputy Press Secretary
Matthews blamed her resignation on the Capitol Hill riot.
“I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted,” Matthews said in a statement.
“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,” Matthews said, ABC reported.
Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd
Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta Lloyd resigned on Wednesday effective immediately, CNN reported.
A longtime and bipartisan Washington event planner, Niceta Lloyd was hired as White House Social Secretary in 2017.
She oversaw such beloved White House events as the annual Easter Egg Roll and the Halloween party, as well as state visits and galas.