Trump administration officials resign after violent siege on Capitol
- Some White House officials have resigned from their posts following a violent siege of the US Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday.
- Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, and Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger all resigned on Wednesday.
- They were followed on Thursday by Mick Mulvaney, former White House chief of staff and special envoy to Northern Ireland, as well as officials from the Department of Commerce and National Security Council.
- Reports say Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Deputy chief of staff Chris Lidell are also considering resigning.
- Separately, the White House has withdrawn its nomination of Chad Wolf who was poised to become permanent secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, instead of his current role as acting secretary.
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A slew of White House officials have begun resigning from their posts after a mob of violent Trump supporters laid siege to the US capitol on Wednesday.
Members of the House and Senate were meeting for a joint session to certify the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden when rioters breached the Capitol building after participating in a “March for Trump” rally, forcing lawmakers to evacuate.
Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a statement Thursday condemning the “tragic and sickening” violence at the Capitol and calling on President Donald Trump to do so as well. The White House later announced they were withdrawing his nomination as permanent secretary.
In a statement, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said that the withdrawal of Wolf’s nomination “occurred yesterday and was not related at all to Wednesday’s events or the Acting Secretary’s comments this morning. Acting Secretary Wolf remains the acting secretary and continues to perform the duties of his office.”
Here are the officials who have turned in their resignations following the insurrection that horrified the world:
- Tyler Goodspeed, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, resigned on Thursday, according to The New York Times.
- “The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable,” he told Jim Tankersley, who pointed out that the council no longer has any members.
- Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian Affairs at the National Security Council, left his job at the White House following the insurrection at the Capitol, Bloomberg reported Thursday morning.
- Mick Mulvaney, who formerly served as the White House chief of staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget, resigned from his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland.
- “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,” Mulvaney told CNBC on Thursday.
- John Costello, deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and security at the Department of Commerce confirmed his resignation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, in a Thursday statement.
- “Yesterday’s events were an unprecedented attack on the very core of our democracy — incited by a sitting president. The president has long disregarded and diminished the rule of law and the constitution. Yesterday, that culminated in violent sedition against the US Congress for the purposes of overturning a legally recognized and valid election,” he said.
- White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews announced her resignation in a statement shared with news outlets on Wednesday, saying she will be stepping down immediately.
- “As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today,” she said. “Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
- Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger also resigned Wednesday afternoon, according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, who said he is among a number of officials “dismayed” by the siege and “Trump’s role in inciting violence.”
- Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, the White House social secretary, also resigned Wednesday, a source told ABC News.
- Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff, was the first to submit her resignation on Wednesday afternoon, CNN reported. Grisham previously served as White House communications director and press secretary.
- “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,” she said in a statement, NBC News reported.
Reports indicate that other officials are also mulling abandoning their posts and that more resignations are expected:
- NBC News reported Elaine Chao, transportation secretary, is considering resigning in the wake of Wednesday’s events. Chao is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the Senate.
- CNN reported National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien is also considering resigning. But Bloomberg’s Jacobs reported sources said O’Brien will not depart early, but will stay on for the last two weeks of Trump’s term.
- She also said some Trump loyalists were among the numerous White House aides who thought about resigning today in response to the Capitol siege.
- CNN also reported Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Lidell plans to resign on Thursday.