A wave of resignations hit the Trump administration in the wake of violent protests on Capitol Hill this week.
According to reports, First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, submitted her resignation shortly after rioters breached the Capitol building on Wednesday in what was an apparent show of support for President Donald Trump’s election-related challenges.
“An honor to serve”
Grisham has been a fixture in the White House for years, having previously served as the East Wing press secretary and White House communications director. Reporters noted that hers was the first resignation to be handed in amid the growing unrest in the nation’s capital.
Confirming @KateBennett_DC’s reporting: the first lady’s chief of staff & former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham submitted her resignation letter today amid the violence on Capitol Hill. First high-profile Trump official to do so. Unclear if there will be more.
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) January 7, 2021
Grisham later issued a statement confirming her decision to step down from her high-profile role.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House,” she explained, according to Breitbart. “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.”
As USA Today later reported, a number of additional White House defections were announced in the hours after peace had been restored on Capitol Hill.
“I can’t stay”
Among the notable departures were Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney. Both individuals have since issued statements regarding their decisions.
Referring to the riots that left at least four people dead, Chao said that the events left her “deeply troubled,” asserting that she “cannot set aside” her reaction, USA Today reported.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao meanwhile said the rioting “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside” and she would be resigning.
In an interview with CNBC, Mulvaney — who previously served as Trump’s acting chief of staff — said on Thursday: “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.”
While the president has faced bipartisan criticism for his rhetoric ahead of the riot, he has since assured Americans that there will be an “orderly transition” on Inauguration Day, going on to insist that it would constitute “only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”