Education Secretary Betsy DeVos handed in her resignation letter Thursday, telling President Trump that his fueling the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol was an “inflection point.”
She told Mr. Trump that there was “no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation.”
Mrs. DeVos, a school-choice crusader who was a close ally of Mr. Trump, joined a parade of administration officials bailing out after pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
In the resignation letter, Mrs. DeVos stressed that she was proud of the educational advances the administration had made, including expanding school choice and dialing back federal control of local schools.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business,” she wrote.
She said her last day would be Friday.
She followed to the exit Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was the first Cabinet member to resign after Wednesday’s fatal riot shut down Congress’ certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s election win.
Ms. Chao, the wife of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the episode “deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
Mrs. DeVos called the rioting at the Capitol “unconscionable.”
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” she said. “Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us. I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate.”
Mrs. DeVos concluded by saying her four years as education secretary “has been the honor of a lifetime.”
• S.A. Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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