President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, resigned his post as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night, saying he “can’t stay” after watching the president encourage the mob that overtook the Capitol complex earlier in the day.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Mulvaney, who was pushed out as chief of staff in March, said he called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the night before to tell him.
“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday,” said Mulvaney, tying his resignation to the violence at the Capitol. “You can’t look at that yesterday and think ‘I want to be part of that’ in any way, shape or form.”
Matt Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser to Trump, also resigned Wednesday night in response to the president’s encouragement of the violent protests, a person familiar with the events said Thursday. Pottinger will now be full-time in Utah, where his family moved earlier this year. Bloomberg News earlier reported his departure.
Mulvaney on Thursday praised administration officials who defended Vice President Mike Pence, who certified the Electoral College vote despite Trump pressuring him to overturn the results of the election.
Mulvaney said he anticipated there would be more resignations, and he also praised the small group of people who quit Wednesday.
“Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse in,” Mulvaney said.
In the hours after Trump took to social media to openly condone the violence at the Capitol, he found himself increasingly isolated as White House officials began submitting their resignations, with more expected to follow suit.
Stephanie Grisham, the former White House press secretary who served as the chief of staff to Melania Trump, the first lady, submitted her resignation after the violent protests. Grisham has worked for the Trumps since the 2016 campaign and is one of their longest-serving aides.
Rickie Niceta, the White House social secretary, also said she was resigning, according to an administration official familiar with her plans who was not authorized to speak publicly. And Sarah Matthews, a deputy White House press secretary, also submitted her resignation, saying in a statement that she was “deeply disturbed by what I saw today.”