GOP senators urging Trump officials to not resign after Capitol chaos

A group of Republican senators are urging top Trump White House officials to not resign, amid concern that President Trump’s response to rioters at the Capitol will spark mass resignations.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has reached out to national security adviser Robert O’Brien and White House counsel Pat Cipollone urging them to stay on the job through Jan. 20, a source confirmed to The Hill.

The outreach by Lee and at least three other GOP senators was first reported by The Washington Post. The source confirmed that the senators are coordinating their efforts amid multiple reports that top White House and administration officials are contemplating resigning.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also mentioned O’Brien, Cipollone, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during a press conference on Thursday.

“To those who believe you should leave your post now to make a statement, I would urge you not,” Graham said.

A spokesperson for Graham confirmed to The Hill that he had spoken with some of the individuals privately to urge them to stay in their jobs in the wake of Wednesday’s riots.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), became the first Cabinet secretary to announce her resignation Thursday, though sources have told The Hill that more high-profile resignations are coming.

At least five White House officials have already announced that they are resigning, including Stephanie Grisham, the former White House communications director who was serving as the chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump. Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was serving as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland, has also resigned.

Trump has sparked fierce bipartisan backlash after rioters breached the Capitol on Wednesday, temporarily suspending the counting of the Electoral College vote. Trump has made baseless claims for weeks that the election was “rigged,” and urged his supporters to gather at the Capitol.

It’s not just Republicans who are urging top officials to stay on the job for roughly another two weeks in an effort to prevent further chaos between now and Inauguration Day.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) released a public statement urging administration officials to stay put.

“I urge the good men and women honorably serving at all levels of the federal government to please stay at their post for the protection of our democracy. The actions of a rogue President will not and should not reflect on you,” Manchin said.

— Updated 4:00 p.m.

Tags Capitol breach Donald Trump Elaine Chao Electoral College Joe Manchin Lindsey Graham Mark Meadows Melania Trump Mick Mulvaney Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Stephanie Grisham Steven Mnuchin

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