Following the Trump-incited invasion of the Capitol on January 6, where his violent supporters stormed and vandalized the premises in the first violent attack on the Capitol since 1814, administration officials have begun to resign in protest.
Deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews was among the first to offer her resignation on Wednesday evening after the attack on Capitol Hill. Matthews, who worked under press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, said she was “disturbed” by today’s events.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the rioting “has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside” and she would be resigning.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff, announced he has resigned from his role as the U.S. 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’s “Squawk Box.”
“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,” Mulvaney said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of my friends resign over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser, also resigned in the wake of the unrest at the Capitol, according to one of the president’s advisers.
Many of the rioters came directly from Trump’s “Save America Rally” that began hours earlier near the White House. Trump spoke to them for more than an hour, insisting, without evidence, that the election had been stolen and encouraged them to march to the Capitol as part of his pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the proceedings. Pence defied the president and announced he did not have the constitutional power to accept or reject Electoral College votes in order to change the election outcome.
Following the rally, a pro-Trump mob began grappling with police on the Capitol steps and forced themselves into the building, forcing Pence to be swept to a secure location, and the Senate chamber to be evacuated.
Rioters then began breaking windows in the Capitol, vandalizing the building, and were even seen on the Senate floor, sitting at the dais. It was the first violent invasion of the Capitol since the British attacked it in 1814.
Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta, White House social secretary, also handed in her resignation following the Capitol Hill riots, according to an administration official.
Matt Pottinger, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, also resigned over the events, as did Ryan Tully, the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council. Tyler Goodspeed, acting head of the Council of Economic Advisers, has also stepped down, a person familiar with the matter said.
Others who are reportedly considering following suit include National security adviser Robert O’Brien and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell.