Former White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has joined the growing list of officials hastily exiting the Trump administration – quitting his diplomatic post in protest of the effort to 'overtake the government.'
'I can't do it,' said Mulvaney, who called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another former House Republican, to convey his views.
Mulvaney, a former House member from South Carolina who left Congress to join Trump's team, spoke out on CNBC hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol after being egged on to march there by President Trump and his unsupported claims of mass election fraud.
Former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has stepped down from his role as a special envoy to Northern Ireland.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'I called Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can't do it. I can't stay,' he said, relinquishing his post as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland in the final weeks of the Trump Administration.
Mulvaney said he has been in talks with other officials thinking about bailing out. Three did so amid the turmoil Wednesday. He acknowledged that his post was just a 'part-time gig,' but indicated he was determined to send a signal by giving it up. 'It's what I've got,' he said.
He said he 'wouldn't be surprised' to see 'more of my friends resign over the next 24 to 48 hours.' Mulvaney served in the House with Pompeo.
'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,' he said – voicing an argument made by many top Trump officials who lingered for months or years despite harboring doubts they later shared about Trump.
'I can't stay here. Not after yesterday,' he said – with a model of Air Force One and a presidential seal in the background behind him during a video interview.
Mulvaney endured multiple slights from the president, who never elevated him from his 'acting' role. He told the network Trump was 'not the same as he was eight months ago.'
Mulvaney, like other current and former lawmakers, watched a mob of Trump supporters occupy and vandalize hallways they spent years frequenting – on a day when Congress ultimately counted the election certifications sent by 50 states and the District of Columbia formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's win.
'We didn't sign up for what you saw last night,' he said. He spoke of some administration accomplishments, then said: 'But all of that went away yesterday, and I think you're right to ask the question as to 'how did it happen?'
He suggested Trump would forever be linked to what he termed an effort to 'overtake' the lawfully elected government.
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White House adviser Jared Kushner, center, flanked by his wife Ivanka Trump, left, and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, right, attend a dinner with President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Osaka, Japan. He said his legacy would now be identified with 'the guy who tried to overtake the government'
'The folks who spent time away from our families, put our careers on the line to go work for Donald Trump, and we did have those successes to look back at, but now it will always be, 'Oh yeah, you work for the guy who tried to overtake the government,' Mulvaney said.
'That legacy is gone as of yesterday and that's extraordinarily disappointing to those of us who work for him,' he lamented.
His blunt assessment came hours after Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger has resigned from his role, becoming the latest White House official to quit in outrage over Donald Trump's response to the siege on the US Capitol.
Pottinger handed in his resignation Wednesday in dismay over the day's events where Trump supporters stormed the Capitol sending the seat of the federal government into lockdown, according to Bloomberg.
The Deputy National Security Advisor had been planning to stand down on election day. But sources told the outlet he decided to quit early as he was dismayed by Trump's part in inciting the unrest that has so far left four dead.
Pottinger's departure comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Stephanie Grisham, the former White House press secretary who became chief of staff for Melania Trump, resigned her position on Wednesday effective immediately.
Grisham's decision was also said to be based on the riots and sources said more aides including National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien were on the brink of leaving.
She was followed by White House press secretary Sarah Matthews and White House social secretary Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd.
The exodus from the Trump administration comes as the president has been accused of trying to freeze out his number two.
Sources said Trump had revoked Vice President Chief of Staff Marc Short's White House access Wednesday after Mike Pence refused to bow to the president's demand that he overturn the election.
Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger (center) has resigned from his role, as numerous White House officials are said to be outraged over Donald Trump's response to the siege on the US Capitol
O'Brien had also planned to quit Wednesday but was then convinced to stay on in his role, the sources told Bloomberg.
The National Security Advisor had tweeted his praise for Pence's handling of the situation in the Capitol earlier Wednesday, comparing his actions to his response during the September 11 terrorist attacks.
'I just spoke with Vice President Pence. He is a genuinely fine and decent man,' he tweeted.
'He exhibited courage today as he did at the Capitol on 9/11 as a Congressman. I am proud to serve with him.'
Trump has reportedly viewed O'Brien's tweets as a thinly-veiled attack on him.
Sources said Chris Liddell, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy coordination, could be next in line to resign.
reported that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, was also considering resigning.
More Trump administration resignations could be coming, multiple sources familiar tell NBC News.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 7, 2021
Among those said to be considering it: National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Grisham was the first White House aide to publicly announce her resignation.
'It has been an honor to serve the country in the @WhiteHouse . I am very proud to have been a part of @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP mission to help children everywhere, & proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration. Signing off now,' Grisham tweeted from her official account.
Grisham left because of the assault on the Capitol by the president's supporters and the way Donald Trump handled it, a former