According to media reports, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger has resigned and joined a number of officials leaving President Donald Trump’s administration following the violence on Capitol Hill.
Pottinger, a leader in the development of Trump’s China policy, resigned Wednesday in response to Trump’s response to a crowd of protesters who violated the U.S. Capitol, CNN reported, citing a person near Pottinger . Bloomberg announced the resignation first.
The White House had no immediate comment, although sources reported that Reuters was expected to leave Pottinger.
Four people died in the chaos – one from gunshot wounds and three from medical emergencies – after hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol to reverse his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
In a video posted on Twitter while the rioters were roaming the Capitol, Trump called the protesters “special” and reiterated his false claims of election fraud despite urging protesters to leave.
It delayed the certification process of Biden’s victory by hours. Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th.
Two top First Lady Melania Trump aides also resigned Wednesday while Pottinger’s boss, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, was considering quitting, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Stephanie Grisham resigned as chief of staff for the first lady.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been part of Ms. Trump’s mission to help children everywhere and proud of the many accomplishments of this administration,” Grisham said in a statement.
Grisham, who served as the White House press secretary for a year before becoming the first lady’s chief of staff, didn’t say her resignation was a response to the violence, but a source familiar with her decision said it was the last straw.
White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta also resigned, as did a White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, two sources told Reuters.
There was also talk at the White House that Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell might step down, a source said.
Pottinger, a former Reuters and Wall Street Journal reporter who quit journalism to join the U.S. Marines after the September 11, 2001 attacks, has been in the White House since Trump’s presidency began in 2017 .
The fluent Mandarin speaker left at a time of high tension with Beijing.
Trump’s government had tough policies on China on matters ranging from trade to espionage, and coronavirus and relations fell to their worst levels in decades as the president stepped up rhetoric in his unsuccessful re-election campaign.
Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was considering sanctions and other restrictions on those involved in the arrest of over 50 people, including American attorney John Clancey, on new Chinese crackdowns in Hong Kong hours before the events in Washington on Wednesday .
Pompeo warned that Washington could target the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Bureau in the United States, and announced that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft would visit China’s alleged Taiwan – which is not a UN Should be a member to China’s objections.
US lawmakers described the action by Trump’s supporters as an embarrassment for American democracy that would play into the hands of rivals like China.
“I think they are very fivefold in Beijing,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a China hawk, told Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel. “It kind of reinforces their claim that we are falling apart and that they are the land of the future.”
On Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in Washington issued a notice warning Chinese citizens to tighten security in the face of the “large-scale demonstration” in the US capital and a curfew announced by the local government.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)