Since Donald Trump unleashed a fascist mob on the Capitol with the basically explicit order to burn down democracy in his name, more than a dozen administration veterans have resigned from their posts, citing the events of the day. Obviously they are attempting to put distance between themselves and a violent insurrection started by their boss, in the hopes of being able to later claim they took a stand against evil when they seek employment elsewhere, are banned from country clubs, and so on and so forth.
One person quitting who stands out from the pack is Hope Hicks. A longtime senior counselor to the president who got her start with the family working on Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, Hicks, according to numerous reports, will resign from the White House and depart next week. But please: Don’t start getting it in your head that “Hopey,” as the president calls her, is taking some kind of moral stand, as she wants people to know she is definitely not. According to Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs, while Hicks is leaving the administration a few days early, she wants it to be very clear that she’s not doing so over the riots that left five people dead and literal shit all over the floors of the Capitol building. This is simply a scheduling thing, and she has no problem with the chaos, violence, and bloodshed unleashed by and for Trump:
As for the people who do want the public to know that it was the window-smashing, Molotov-cocktail-toting would-be kidnappers who broke the camel’s back—among them Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and the first lady’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham—such resignations might have meant something if they weren’t going to be out of jobs in less than two weeks anyway. Or if, even before Wednesday, it wasn’t common knowledge that they were working for a guy who:
Refused to disavow right-wing extremists, telling them instead to “stand back and stand by”
Tried to extort a foreign government into digging up dirt on his political rival’s son
Reportedly called fallen soldiers “suckers” and “losers”
Pressured an election official to “find” him 11,780 votes or suffer the consequences
And that doesn’t even include all the things we knew about this human parasite from before his time in office, which included calling for the executions of five wrongfully convicted Black and Latino teenagers and bragging about forcibly grabbing women by the genitals.
So yes, all of these officials are already trying to launder their reputations, but clearly the stain of happily working for Donald Trump until his literal final days in office should follow them around for life. As it should also follow his adult children who are desperately trying to toe the line between keeping their MAGA-faithful happy and being able to make a reservation at the restaurant of their choosing.
If you would like to receive the Levin Report in your inbox daily, click here to subscribe.
Report: Trump called lawmaker to overturn election results in midst of Capitol siege
Presumably the president was aware of the attack taking place blocks from the White House yet still figured it was as good a time as any. Per CNN:
President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani both mistakenly made calls to Republican Senator Mike Lee as deadly riots were unfolding at the U.S. Capitol earlier this week, a spokesman for the senator confirmed to CNN—calls that were intended for another GOP senator the White House was frantically trying to convince to delay the counting of Electoral College votes. Lee’s spokesman said the calls from Trump and his attorney were intended for Senator Tommy Tuberville, a newly elected Republican from Alabama.
The effort by the White House to get Tuberville to delay certification of the votes provides insight into the president’s thinking and priorities as a mob of his supporters lay siege to the iconic building. As the president worked to convince Tuberville to delay the process, he and other top White House officials did little to check in on Vice President Mike Pence while he and members of his family were inside the breached Capitol, a source close to the vice president told CNN. Trump first called the personal cell phone of Lee, a Utah Republican, shortly after 2 p.m. ET. At that time the senators had been evacuated from the Senate floor and were in a temporary holding room, as a pro-Trump mob began breaching the Capitol. Lee picked up the phone and Trump identified himself, and it became clear he was looking for Tuberville and had been given the wrong number. Lee, keeping the president on hold, went to find his colleague and handed Tuberville his phone, telling him the president was on the line and had been trying to reach him.
According to CNN, Trump spoke with Tuberville for just under 10 minutes, trying to convince the newly elected senator to make additional objections to the certification of the Electoral College vote and invalidate Joe Biden’s win. The call would have presumably gone on longer but it was reportedly cut off “because senators were asked to move to a secure location.” You know, to avoid being taken hostage.
Nancy Pelosi wants to make sure Trump can’t just up and launch a nuclear attack
That seems like a reasonable thing to get assurances for, given there’s a nonzero chance he might. Per the The Washington Post:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her House colleagues Friday that she had spoken to the Pentagon’s top general about keeping an “unstable president” from accessing the nuclear codes, as Democrats openly considered impeaching the commander in chief for the second time in just over a year. The discussion with Army General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, came after President Trump directed thousands of angry supporters to the Capitol on Wednesday as he refused to concede his election defeat.
The situation highlights the intense pressure that senior national security officials are under after an event unprecedented in American history. The fact that Pelosi is talking to Milley about the topic is “alarming, and it shows just how dysfunctional things are right now,” said Jim Golby, an Army veteran and civil-military relations expert at the University of Texas at Austin.
“The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” Pelosi wrote in a letter, in which she repeated her threat to impeach Trump if Pence refuses to take him out via 25th Amendment.
Hey, remember COVID-19?
With the president of the United States siccing his personal army on the Capitol, you might have forgotten there’s still a major virus ripping through the country that he’s continued to horribly mismanage. But, surprise:
More than 4,000 people died of COVID-19 in the United States in one day for the first time on Thursday as the country reports record-high numbers and the outbreak grows more severe by the day. The U.S. has reported a record-high daily death toll on five of the past 10 days, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past week, the U.S. has reported an average of more than 2,700 deaths per day, up 16% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. Nearly 20,000 people in the country have died of COVID in January alone, setting the pace for a month that will likely rival December for the deadliest month yet of the pandemic.
“We believe things will get worse as we get into January,” Anthony Fauci said in an interview with NPR on Thursday, adding that Americans can “blunt that acceleration” by strictly abiding by public health measures like social distancing and mask-wearing. Also on Thursday a House lawmaker reportedly warned that “There’s a severe COVID outbreak coming among members,” probably thanks to the fact that “at the secure location yesterday at least 50 GOP members refused to wear masks. They were asked repeatedly. Older [Democratic Party] members pleaded. And they wouldn’t do it.”
Twitter Permanently Suspends Trump’s Account (CNBC)
Murkowski Is the First Republican Senator to Say Trump Should Resign: “I Want Him Out” (NYT)
FBI Releases 10 More Photos of Suspected Rioters (NYP)
Trump Officials Are Still Slowing Transition, Biden Team Says (Bloomberg)
Biden Demands Trillions in New Aid, Renews $2,000-Checks Goal (Bloomberg)
White House COVID Task Force Warns of Possible New “USA Variant” Driving Spread (CNBC)
Twitter Bans Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and Other QAnon Accounts (CNBC)
Ivanka Trump “Surprised and Hurt” by Karlie Kloss’s Tweets After Capitol Siege (NYP)
David Hasselhoff Auctioning Off KITT Car From Knight Rider (UPI)
Jamiroquai Singer: I’m Not the Capitol “Viking” Rioter (NYP)
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Jared and Ivanka’s Final Chapter in Washington Demolished Their Future
— After a Day of Violence, Trump’s Allies Are Jumping Ship
— The Unbearable Whiteness of Storming the Capitol
— Gary Cohn Is a Test Case for Trying to Wash Off the Trump Stink
— The Deeply Unsettling, Not Entirely Surprising Images of Trump’s Capitol Hill Mob
— Twitter Finally Muzzling Trump Is Too Little, Too Late
— The Eerie Charlottesville Echoes of Trump Supporters’ Capitol Coup
— From the Archive: Inside the Cult of Trump, His Rallies Are Church and He Is the Gospel
— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.
Find us at the office
Chappa- Adamitis street no. 38, 81811 Tripoli, Libya
Give us a ring
+69 213 130 910
Mon - Fri, 10:00-22:00