Catholic former chief of staff among White House resignations

By CNA Staff

Mick Mulvaney speaks at a February 2020 event. / Credit: Credit: Samuel Corum / Getty Images News.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 8, 2021 / 07:44 am (CNA).- The Catholic former White House chief of staff resigned his post as Special Envoy to Northern Ireland on Thursday, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump protesters.

Mick Mulvaney, former congressman who became White House Chief of Staff in 2019, before his appointment as Special Envoy to Northern Ireland earlier this year, told CNBC on Thursday morning that he was resigning his post.

“I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney told CNBC on Thursday morning, after he said he talked with his family about the decision.

“Not after yesterday. You can’t look at that yesterday and think ‘I want to be a part of that’ in any way, shape, or form,” he said, adding that Trump is “not the same as he was eight months ago.”

On Wednesday, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters forced their way past police barricades and into the U.S. Capitol, where they remained for hours. According to U.S. Capitol Police, some protesters attacked officers with metal pipes, chemical irritants, and “other weapons.” Online photos and videos showed protesters breaking windows, and occupying the House Speaker’s Office and the House Floor.

Members of Congress were evacuated and locked in their offices, and the National Guard later helped clear out protesters from the building. Four people died during the incident, and dozens of officers were reported injured. One officer later died from his injuries. In addition, pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails were found and confiscated outside the Republican and Democratic National Committee offices.

In the aftermath of the incident, both Republicans and Democrats have accused Trump of inciting the violence and failing to issue a strong condemnation of it while it was taking place.

Mulvaney, a Catholic, was formerly a congressman from South Carolina before serving as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In 2019, he became White House acting Chief of Staff.

He addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in 2019, where he told the audience that “[t]he principles of our faith are alive and well and well-respected in this administration and are driving many of our policies.”

As CNA reported in 2019, Mulvaney hosted dozens of Catholic leaders for a briefing on life and religious freedom issues.

Mulvaney is not the only administration official to depart following Wednesday’s events.

Later on Thursday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced she was leaving the administration. First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff resigned on Wednesday.

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