Trump’s former chief of staff suggests impeaching president after Capitol riots

 Asked if he felt responsible for enabling Donald Trump, Mulvaney says: ‘I still am trying to figure out what I could have done differently'

Namita Singh
Monday 11 January 2021 09:53 GMT
Trump’s former chief of staff suggests impeaching president after Capitol riots

Mick Mulvaney, the former White House chief of staff, has described his former boss Donald Trump’s role in the deadly riots on Capitol Hill on 6 January as indefensible, as he suggested his impeachment – this time – would not be unreasonable. 

“You can go down a long litany of things that people complained about with Donald Trump and I could probably defend almost all of them,” began Mr Mulvaney while appearing on Fox News Sunday. 

"Many of them were policy differences, many of them were stylistic differences, but Wednesday was different. Wednesday was existential. Wednesday is one of those things that struck the very heart of what it means to be an American, and it was wrong."

“Would you vote to impeach the president?” asked anchor Chris Wallace. “It’s not unusual talking about it," said the former chief of staff. “Again, it was such an extreme event on Wednesday that it’s not surprising we are looking at extreme possible reactions to what happened on Wednesday.” 

When Wallace pressed him on whether he would vote to impeach the president, Mr Mulvaney said it would not be “fair” to say yes or no but he would “take it really, really seriously”, adding that both Republicans and Democrats would treat the impeachment differently than the one in 2019 which he believed was a “witch hunt”. 

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Mr Mulvaney resigned from his role as the US special envoy to Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the US Capitol.  "Do you feel any responsibility for enabling Donald Trump?” Wallace asked him. 

"I feel a lot of emotions this week. I was shocked, it was angered, I was sad, I was embarrassed, I was frustrated," Mr Mulvaney said. “And I still am trying to figure out what I could have done differently.”

The former White House official also admitted he was wrong to argue, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published six weeks ago, that Mr Trump would leave in a “presidential manner”. “I really did believe that at the time. The stories I told to back that up were true. I have seen the president being presidential before.  

"I don’t know what’s different [now," said Mr Mulvaney, suggesting the blame could lie with the president’s close advisers. He launched a scathing attack on Peter Navarro and Rudy Giuliani, saying they “simply tell him (Trump) what he wants to hear and reaffirm exactly what they think he wants them to say". 

"That’s a very dangerous position for any president to be in," Mr Mulvaney added.

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