Top White House officials resign following Capitol Hill mayhem
President Trump’s deputy national security adviser and first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff are among those who quit.
A number of officials have resigned from outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration in the wake of the violence that occurred at Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Other officials are considering whether to hand in their resignations, following unprecedented scenes of pro-Trump supporters storming the Capitol building as Congress began counting Electoral College votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
At least four people were killed and 68 others arrested.
The White House was yet to issue a statement amid the announcements of resignations of these officials. They are:
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation on Thursday, becoming the highest ranking member of Trump’s administration to resign in protest over the insurrection at Capitol.
In a statement Chao share on Twitter she said the attack has “deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the U.S. Department of Transportation. pic.twitter.com/rFxPsBoh6t
— Sec. Elaine Chao (@SecElaineChao) January 7, 2021
Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger resigned on Wednesday in response to Trump’s reaction to the mob which breached the US Capitol, CNN reported, citing a person close to Pottinger. Bloomberg first reported the resignation of Pottinger, a leading figure in the development of Trump’s China policy.
The chief of staff of First Lady Melania Trump quit following the mayhem at the Capitol.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. 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,” Grisham said in a statement.
Grisham, who spent a year as the White House press secretary before becoming the chief of staff to the first lady, did not say whether her resignation was in reaction to the violence in the nation’s capital, but a source familiar with her decision said it was the last straw for her.
A senior official for intelligence and security operations at the Department of Commerce, John Costello, announced his resignation on Thursday.
“Yesterday’s events were an unprecedented attack on the very core of our democracy – incited by a sitting president,” he said in a tweet.
Today, I resigned my position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intelligence and Security. pic.twitter.com/x8d6qCczok
— John Costello (@CostelloJK) January 7, 2021
Anna Cristina ‘Rickie’ Niceta
The White House social secretary, Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, also reportedly resigned on Wednesday.
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews said she had resigned over Wednesday’s violence at the Capitol.
“As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today,” Matthews said in a statement. “I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
A senior administration official told Reuters on Thursday that Ryan Tully, Trump’s top White House adviser on Russia, has resigned over the events on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that he was resigning as US special envoy to Northern Ireland. “I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” he said in an interview on CBNC.
“We didn’t sign up for what you saw last night,” he said adding that “those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in.”
The acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Tyler Goodspeed also announced his resignation on Thursday.
“The events of yesterday made my position no longer tenable,” he told the New York Times.
In a letter to Trump, the education secretary Betsy DeVos said the attack on the Capitol was unconscionable.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me,” she wrote, adding her resignation would be effective on Friday.
Other officials who are considering quitting their positions include Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
According to sources familiar to the matter, O’Brien was persuaded to stay on by allies.