- REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Who takes over if Donald Trump is ever unable to perform the duties of the US President?
In the event that the president ever resigns, gets impeached, dies, or is otherwise incapable of serving, the US has created a long line of succession to ensure the peaceful transfer of power under any circumstances.
Established in 1947 at the dawn of the nuclear age, the presidential line of succession goes down heads of Congress and then the president’s cabinet.
Under Trump, 15 Republicans, three Independents, make up that line. Of them, 15 are men and three women, though one woman is a naturalized citizen who is included but ineligible to serve as president.
While turnover in the role of US president remains extremely rare, the line provides political stability and military-grade redundancy should anything ever happen to the Commander in Chief. Here are the people currently in line to take over in place of Trump:
Vice President Mike Pence
- Joe Raedle/Getty Images
House Speaker Paul Ryan
Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
- Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
- REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Secretary of the Treasure Steven Mnuchin
- Thomson Reuters
Secretary of Defense James Mattis
- Yuri Gripas/Reuters
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
- REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
- Thomson Reuters
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price
- Alex Wong/Getty Images
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Because Chao was born in Taiwan, she is ineligible to serve as president and would be passed over.
- Reuters/Carlos Barria
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin
Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke
- YouTube Screengrab (Government Technology & Services Coalition)