Administration

John Kelly says Trump Cabinet should discuss 25th Amendment

Greg Nash

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly said Thursday that President Trump’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 Tapper 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.

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.

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 Kinzinger (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 Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office without delay.

Tags 25th Amendment Adam Kinzinger Capitol breach Capitol riot Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump election 2020 Election results Jake Tapper John Kelly Nancy Pelosi Trump Cabinet
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