US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns

Chao oversaw policies for autonomous cars and other emerging transportation tech.

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks ahead of Press Days of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 14, 2018.   REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Rebecca Cook / reuters

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has resigned from her position. In a message posted to Twitter, Chao said she was “deeply troubled” by the “traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed.” 

Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the first cabinet secretary to resign as a result of the violence in Washington D.C. As the nation’s top transportation official, Chao oversaw policies governing autonomous cars and other emerging tech like the hyperloop. She also played a central role in the United States’ decision to ground Boeing’s 737 Max planes in 2019.

“We will help my announced successor, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department,” she wrote. Her resignation goes into effect Monday, January 11, 2021. 

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