WASHINGTON—The fallout from President Trump supporters' siege on the Capitol continues as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning.
Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been in Trump's cabinet since the early days of his administration in 2017.
But the storming of the Capitol moved her to leave her position, albeit only days before she would have lost the job in the transition to a new administration.
Chao, on Jan. 7, sent out a tweet explaining her move.
"Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed," she wrote. "As I'm sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside."
Chao's resignation is effective Jan. 11, and she said she would help the incoming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg "with taking on the responsibility of running this wonderful department."
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol after attending a rally held by the president a short distance away. At the rally, Trump repeated false claimed the election was stolen from him.
The breach delayed Congress from counting electoral college ballots, the last step in certifying Joe Biden's victory over Trump.
Trump issued a video statement about two hours into attack. "This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You are very special," he told the rioters.
Trump also said he understood the rioters' "pain."
The Transportation Department is an important agency for those in the tire and rubber industries due to its oversight powers.
"Auto Care appreciates Secretary Chao's service the past four years, and we look forward to working with the Biden Administration's nominee, Pete Buttigieg, to address many of the transportation issues on the Association's agenda, including access to in-vehicle data and rebuilding of America's transportation infrastructure," Aaron Lowe, ACA senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs, said in an email.
Anne Forristall Luke, CEO of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, also issued a statement.
"The USTMA thanks Secretary Chao for her years of service and focus on issues at NHTSA important to tire manufacturers and American motorists. We witnessed with profound regret the events at the United States Capitol on January 6th that precipitated the Secretary's resignation and look forward to working together with the incoming Administration and 117th Congress to advance policies and dialogue that will benefit all Americans," Luke said.
"USTMA looks forward to working with the Biden Administration on a bold vision for modernizing America's infrastructure and the importance of modernizing the regulatory framework for tire performance and consumer safety given the significant technology-driven changes that are already transforming the transportation sector," she said.
Both the Tire Industry Association and the Automotive Service Association declined an opportunity to comment on Chao's move.