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Trump resignations gaining steam

A growing number of Cabinet members and senior officials are resigning from the Trump administration after a right-wing mob attacked Capitol Hill this week, leaving President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE isolated to deal with the fallout in the final days of his presidency.

Two Cabinet members and least six other administration officials have resigned and directly rebuked Trump for inciting the riot.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments READ: Departure letter from HHS Secretary Azar to Trump ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post MORE and Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments READ: Departure letter from HHS Secretary Azar to Trump ICE acting director resigns weeks after assuming post MORE have both resigned, potentially avoiding a messy fight about whether to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows for a majority of Cabinet members to strip the president of his powers.

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In her letter, DeVos called the mob action “unconscionable” and said it had undermined the president’s accomplishments.

The resignation by Chao was notable because she is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi mum on when House will send impeachment article to Senate Democratic senator: COVID-19 relief is priority over impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history MORE (R-Ky.), who was forced into hiding during the raid on Capitol Hill.

Both Chao and DeVos had been in the Trump administration from the start.

“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” Chao wrote in a letter to Transportation Department staff. “As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

Other notable resignations include former White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - House to impeach Trump this week Democrats, GOP face defining moments after Capitol riot The Memo: GOP and nation grapple with what comes next MORE, who quit his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland; Melanie Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos MORE; deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger; deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews; White House social secretary Rickie Niceta; the National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs, Ryan Tully; and Tyler Goodspeed, the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

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“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday,” Mulvaney said. “You can’t look at that yesterday and say I want to be a part of that in any way shape or form.” 

The outrage over the riot and Trump’s involvement in whipping up the crowd that he summoned to Washington to protest President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE’s election victory is growing by the hour.

Five people have died as a result of the riots, including one woman who was shot after breaching the Capitol and a Capitol Police officer who fought off rioters. Three other people apparently died due to personal medical emergencies.

During the riot, Trump went to Twitter to call for peaceful protests, but he also appeared to gloat about the civil unrest while expressing his love and admiration for those involved.

Finally on Thursday, the president issued a sober, pre-recorded statement in which he explicitly denounced the rioting and conceded his election defeat. The message was recorded as it became clear Trump could face prosecution for inciting the violence at the Capitol.

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Many of the people who clashed with police on Tuesday believed the president’s claims that the election had been stolen from him and that Vice President Pence might somehow be able to thwart the Electoral College count certifying Biden’s victory.

The president’s allies are abandoning him in droves, with conservatives such as Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's growing isolation as administration comes to an end Cotton: Senate lacks authority to hold impeachment trial once Trump leaves office MORE (R-Ark.) laying blame directly at Trump’s feet.

While Trump has only two weeks left in his term, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are debating whether he should be removed from office before then.

House Democrats have drawn up articles of impeachment. Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSasse: Capitol rioters 'came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis' McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time McConnell: Trump impeachment trial to start after Biden sworn in MORE (R-Neb.) said he would consider voting to remove the president if the House impeaches him, and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (R-Ill.) has called on Trump to be removed under the 25th Amendment.