National security aides join exodus of Trump staffers
Two of President Trump’s national security aides joined a group of administration officials stepping down from their positions after pro-Trump protesters rioted in the Capitol building on Wednesday.
Deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Ryan Tully, the White House National Security Council’s senior director for European and Russian affairs, have both resigned, a former official familiar with the situation confirmed on Thursday.
National security adviser Robert O’Brien also reportedly considered stepping down, but was convinced to remain in his role.
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, now an envoy to Northern Ireland, announced his resignation early Thursday.
Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s former press secretary who served as chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, also stepped down on Wednesday, in addition to other officials.
The president on Wednesday lauded supporters at a protest dubbed the “Save America Rally” in the nation’s capital to demonstrate against the results of the 2020 presidential election and to call on lawmakers to object to the certification of Electoral College votes affirming President-elect Biden’s win.
Trump addressed thousands of supporters outside of the White House prior to the riot in the Capitol, claiming without evidence that there was widespread fraud in the race for the White House.
“You never concede when there is theft involved,” he said.
Four people died on Wednesday amid protests and rioting in the Capitol building, including one woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police. Three others died after suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the grounds of the Capitol.
More than 50 people have been arrested in the wake of the demonstrations, which caused evacuations on Capitol Hill. At least 14 law enforcement officers sustained injuries during the demonstrations.
Congress early Thursday formally affirmed victory in the presidential election after the complex was secured.
Afterward, Trump acknowledged the end of his term in the Oval Office and vowed that there will be an “orderly transition” of power on Jan. 20.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment on the staff departures.
— Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:32 a.m.