‘Isolate the president’: Local expert discusses impact of Cabinet, Trump Administration resignations

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – As President Trump’s term in office comes to an end, even those closest to him are sending a message.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor Emeritus Mordecai Lee spoke to CBS 58 about the impact of the resignations in his Cabinet and throughout the Trump administration. Lee said the resignations isolate Trump.

“As people were resigning, they were in a sense saying to him, ‘you’re really no longer president, we’re not going to let you do anything',” Lee said.

On Thursday, January 7, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos both submitted their resignations to President Trump over his handling of the Capitol riot. Lee suggests that as of now, President Trump is president in name only.

“If President Trump thinks that after he steps down if he can sort of put out these Twitter feeds and put out the Facebook messages, I think that’s going to have the impact of a feather,” Lee said. “In other words, the people who marched on the Capitol, they’re still his diehard supporters, but anybody else who believes in the Constitution, who believes in elections, who believes in the legal system, they’re not going to be supporting him,” he said.

Lee added it will be interesting to see how Trump acts until Inauguration Day, but it is clear many members of the Republican Party are separating from him and making that known.

“What happened on Wednesday [Capitol riot] was beyond the pale and the kind of resignations that we’re seeing is people saying, 'I’m a Republican, I’m a conservative Republican, I believed in what Trump was doing until that moment',” he said. “I think the lesson of the history books is that the Constitution remained powerful, but just barely.”

Lee said Trump not attending Inauguration Day breaks the symbolism and his statement of committing to a smooth transition and peaceful transfer of power.

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