U.S. transport chief, foreign policy advisers among resignations after Capitol violence

By David Shepardson, Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation on Thursday, the first cabinet minister to join a growing list of Republican President Donald Trump's staff leaving over the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

Reuters January 08, 2021 02:10:51 IST
U.S. transport chief, foreign policy advisers among resignations after Capitol violence

US transport chief foreign policy advisers among resignations after Capitol violence

By David Shepardson, Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation on Thursday, the first cabinet minister to join a growing list of Republican President Donald Trump's staff leaving over the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the mob attack "has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside." She said her resignation will take effect on Monday.

Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, a leading figure in the development of Trump's China policy, resigned abruptly on Wednesday, said a senior administration official who declined to be named.

He was followed by Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council, a second senior official said, on condition of anonymity.

Trump's pledge on Thursday that there would be an "orderly transition" to the presidency of Democrat Joe Biden on Jan. 20 was partly intended to head off further resignations, but the second official told Reuters: "It's not going to stop it."

With two weeks left of Trump's presidency, many aides were already heading for the door, but the sudden departures suggested revulsion among some over his encouragement of mobs of supporters who stormed the Capitol in an ultimately futile bid to prevent formal certification of Biden's election victory.

The images filled television screens in the United States and around the world, forever marking Trump's presidency and legacy.

Chao, a labor secretary and deputy transportation secretary under previous Republican presidents, has led the department for four years.

In an interview with Reuters on Dec. 31, Chao had said she planned to remain on the job through Jan. 20.

On Thursday, she was at pains to say that "we will help my announced successor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department."

Among those who were spurred to quit on Thursday was Mick Mulvaney, a former White House chief of staff who resigned his post as a special envoy to Northern Ireland.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see more of my friends resign over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours," he said on CNBC.

Further departures are especially likely at the NSC, one of the officials said. It coordinates U.S. foreign policy among federal agencies and maintains close contacts with foreign governments, so the loss of key staff could raise questions about national security as the new administration takes over.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick in Washington, Steve Stecklow in London; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal, Mark Hosenball, David Brunnstrom, Humeyra Pamuk, Susan Heavey, Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.