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John Kelly says Trump Cabinet should discuss 25th Amendment

John Kelly says Trump Cabinet should discuss 25th Amendment
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE said Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE's Cabinet should meet to discuss the 25th Amendment, adding that he would vote in favor of removing the president if he still served in the White House. 

“The Cabinet should meet and have a discussion. I don’t think it will happen, but I think that the Cabinet should meet and discuss this because the behavior yesterday and the weeks and months before that has just been outrageous from the president,” Kelly said during a telephone interview with CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE on Thursday afternoon. 

“And what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday was a direct result of his poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds,” Kelly continued.

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Asked if he would vote to remove Trump from office if he were still in the Cabinet, Kelly paused and answered, “yes.”

The former chief of staff went on to argue that the upside of the current situation is that Trump only has 13 days remaining as president and said that “no one around him anymore is going to break the law.”

Kelly pointed to the actions of Vice President Pence on Wednesday rejecting pressure from Trump for him to block Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes. The former White House official commended Pence for “standing his ground.”

Kelly’s remarks came the day after throngs of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

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Before the attack on the Capitol, Trump addressed supporters at a rally in Washington where he told that crowd, "We will never give up. We will never concede." 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blamed Trump for inciting the violence.

Kelly's comments represented a stunning and public rebuke from a former senior Trump administration official. Kelly served as Trump’s first secretary of Homeland Security before moving to the White House to become his chief of staff. Kelly stepped down from his position in December 2018, about two years into Trump’s term. 

Kelly has been relatively quiet in the time since he left the Trump administration, but issued a statement to reporters strongly rebuking the violence on Capitol Hill after it took place Wednesday.

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency National Guard back inside Capitol after having been moved to parking garage Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (R-Ill.) earlier Thursday publicly called on officials to take the extraordinary step of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would require a majority of Cabinet officials and Pence to declare Trump unable to perform is duties as president.

The Hill and other news outlets reported late Wednesday that some officials were discussing the possibility, but the talks appeared to be limited and it’s unclear how seriously the matter is being considered or which individuals are involved. 

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Justice watchdog to probe whether officials sought to interfere with election Capitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? MORE (D-N.Y.) called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office without delay.