Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has resigned, sending a strongly worded letter to President Trump criticizing his words and tone before and during the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, it is the inflection point for me,” she told Trump in the letter sent Thursday. Her resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
In the letter, obtained by several media outlets, DeVos stressed the recent failures following the election but also touted the administration’s accomplishments, saying that rather than taking a victory lap, “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.”
During the pandemic, Trump and DeVos pressed schools to reopen for in-person classes. But school leaders across the country said they didn’t have the resources to do so safely. While her letter slammed the schools’ response, DeVos failed to illustrate how to reopen, having previously said decisions are best left to local leaders.
She also underscored the example Trump’s behavior set. “Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us,” she wrote. “I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate. They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday. To that end, today I resign from my position, effective Friday, Jan. 8, in support of the oath I took to our Constitution, our people, and our freedoms.”
Trump now has lost at least two Cabinet secretaries along with several top advisers, including Mick Mulvaney. Shortly after the violence at the Capitol, Stephanie Grisham, former White House Press Secretary and chief of staff to the first lady, also resigned.