In the wake of the storming of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters, several of the White House aides have resigned today. More resignations are anticipated in the coming days.
The first to confirm resignation was Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff to First Lady Melania Trump and former press secretary of the White House. A short time later, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews resigned, as reported by White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta.
“I was honoured to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted. 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.”
The resignations even extend to the National Security Council of the White House (NSC). Deputy national security advisor Matthew Pottinger and NSC Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs Ryan Tully both stepped down as well, confirmed by a former official familiar with the situation.
On Twitter on Thursday afternoon, national security advisor Robert O’Brien praised Pottinger. O’Brien said one of his decisions was to ask Pottinger to serve as his deputy.
O’Brien is among other aides currently considering resignation. By tweeting his support for Vice President Pence, he clashed with Trump on Wednesday, saying that he could not unilaterally condemn President-elect Joe Biden’s electorate.
Combined with condemnations from some Trump allies, the wave of departures amounts to a clear rebuke of the president’s conduct on what may be his presidency’s darkest day.
Although in his term, Trump has just two weeks left, his actions and the resulting mob at the Capitol have spurred debates about whether he should be removed from office before then.