Matthew Pottinger and Stephanie Grisham have resigned from the administration of Trump in the wake of violence on Capitol Hill. File
Gulf Today Report
Two top aides to first lady Melania Trump resigned on Wednesday in the wake of violence on Capitol Hill, and more top White House officials were considering resigning, including national security adviser Robert O'Brien and his deputy, Matthew Pottinger, sources familiar with the matter said.
US President Donald Trump gestures during an election rally. File photo
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s chief of staff and a former White House press secretary, submitted her resignation Wednesday, but declined to say what has prompted her move. Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, White House social secretary Rickie Niceta and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews also resigned, according to officials. More departures were expected in the coming days, officials said. But other aides indicated they were staying to help smooth the transition to President-elect Biden’s administration.
The White House had no immediate comment.
Four people died during the chaos — one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies - after hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to overturn his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
In a video posted to Twitter while the rioters roamed the Capitol, Trump called the protesters “special” and repeated his false claims about election fraud, although he urged protesters to leave.
The melee delayed the certification process of Biden’s victory for hours. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan.20.
Pro-Trump protesters storm into the US Capitol during clashes with police in Washington. Reuters
Two top aides to first lady Melania Trump also resigned on Wednesday, while Pottinger’s boss, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, was considering quitting, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Stephanie Grisham resigned as chief of staff to the first lady.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump’s mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this administration,” Grisham said in a statement.
Grisham, who spent a year as White House press secretary before becoming chief of staff to the first lady, did not say whether her resignation was in reaction to the violence in the nation’s capital, but a source familiar with her decision said it was the last straw for her.
The White House social secretary, Rickie Niceta, also resigned, as did a deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews, two sources told Reuters.
There was also talk inside the White House that deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell might resign, a source said.
In a late night news conference, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee said 47 of the 52 arrests to date were related to violations of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 6pm curfew, with 26 of those involving people arrested on US Capitol grounds.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence said in a letter released by his office as the House prepared to vote on a non-binding resolution calling on him to utilize the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution.
And the inauguration will look different from other presidential inaugurations because of last week’s riot, with extremely tight security around the entire capital region.
Cities nationwide were girding for a potential new wave of violent protests over the weekend, erecting barriers and deploying thousands of National Guard troops.
The attack occurred at the town hall in Miguel Hidalgo, one of the most prosperous districts of Mexico City.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” said the American writer Mark Twain. “Why” here refers to finding out one’s life purpose or passion.