These Are The Trump Administration Members Who Are Jumping Ship

While the pre-White House Donald Trump (the businessman in this case) was best known for his TV catchphrase "you're fired," who knew that the catchphrase in the final days of the Trump administration would be "I quit"? Wednesday's chaos on Capitol Hill appears to be triggering a Cabinet and White House exodus trumped (pun intended) by the one seen in 2020 that included staff members such as Attorney General Bill Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway (via BBC). 


Cabinet resignations aside, influential think tank Brookings says that as of Jan. 7, the overall turnover of the Trump's "A team" or members of the executive office of the president is running at 91 percent, and that figure is supposedly set to rise. In just the last couple of days, a handful of government officials have handed in their resignation letters, less than two weeks short of the official end to Trump's presidency.

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation

Senior Trump administration official Elaine Chao, aka Mrs Mitch McConnell, stepped down as Transportation Secretary shortly after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for members of the cabinet to trigger the 25th amendment, which would remove Trump's presidential powers — and is something Vice President Mike Pence isn't keen on doing (via the New York Times). 


In her statement, Chao laid out the reasons for her departure on Twitter, saying: "Yesterday [Jan. 6], our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. 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."

Suffice to say her resignation wasn't lauded by social media users, many of whom feel she should support the 25th amendment before she walks out the door. As one Twitter user put it, "Before you leave please sign the 25th. It will be the only decent thing you have done in your lifetime."

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is the second member of the Trump cabinet to resign in protest over the violence that played out at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. In a letter to the president, DeVos said: "There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me" (via The Wall Street Journal).


DeVos leaves a controversial legacy that includes a push to keep schools open in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, calls for less federal involvement in education, and the rewriting of rules involving sexual assault on campus. Becky Pringle, head of the National Education Association (NEA) told NPR, "I don't think there is another secretary of education who is better known than her throughout our history." Best Colleges also explained that it's likely the incoming Biden Administration will roll back many of DeVos' actions.

Mick Mulvaney, special envoy to Northern Ireland

You will have heard of special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney before. In his previous incarnation at the Trump White House, Mulvaney was chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020 (via Foreign Policy). His most recent — and it seems final — departure came after he sent out tweets during the storming of the U.S. Capitol, where he called out the president for failing to stop protesters from overtaking. "Peaceful protests are one thing. Illegally storming the Capitol is another thing entirely. The President needs to discourage any violence immediately," he tweeted. Mulvaney later went on CNBC to say: "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."


He also told CNBC what he saw as the reason why others haven't yet followed suit: 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."

Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff to the first lady

As far as Trump loyalists go, Stephanie Grisham can be considered as one of the staunchest. CNN says Grisham joined Team Trump in 2015  as a press wrangler when a Trump White House was just an elusive idea, before becoming deputy press secretary for Sean Spicer. She was pirated by Melania Trump in 2017 and since that time, was the first lady's most visible and supportive aide. "It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump's mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration," Grisham told CNN in a statement. 


Other resignations from the Trump administration

The wave of resignations has also crippled White House staff which, as we said earlier, has already been hit by a rather high turnover percentage. These include Matt Pottinger who was most recently deputy national security adviser and a specialist in China issues. The Los Angeles Times also says Pottinger was involved in the administration's response to the coronavirus crisis. 


John Costello, who served as the Commerce Department's deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and security, also left his position. Yahoo! reports that Costello said in a statement, "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."

Then there is Tyler Goodspeed, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and who told The New York Times' Jim Tankersley that: "The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable." (Tankersley subsequently tweeted: "With this resignation, the Trump Council of Economic Advisers is now completely void of members.")


Other names include Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian Affairs on the National Security Council; Mark Vandroff, senior director for defense policy at the National Security Council; Sarah Matthews, deputy White House press secretary; and Anna Cristina Niceta, White House Social Secretary (via Foreign Policy).