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Lawmakers urge White House staff to stay on

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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urges White House staff to stay in place for the last two weeks of the administration of President Donald Trump./AFP
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Jan 08, 2021 - 03:47 AM

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers urged White House staff to stay in their jobs amid a spate of resignations in protest at President Donald Trump’s support for the attack on Congress by his followers.

Senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged top Trump aides to keep working for the final 14 days of the administration, naming chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

“Most Americans will never know the service that Mark Meadows and Pat Cipollone and those under their charge provided to this country over the last year,” Graham said in a press conference.

“To those who believe you should leave your post now to make a statement, I would urge you not,” he said.

“To Robert O’Brien: you have been a good counsel to the president, you have been a steady hand. I’ve been missing your phone calls; Robert, stay on.”

“To those in the national security apparatus, we need you now more than ever.”

Earlier Thursday Transport Secretary Elaine Chao said she was resigning, the highest-level departure yet since Trump supporters, riled up by the president’s false claims of election fraud, invaded and shut down the US Congress Wednesday.

It was “a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” said Chao, the wife of Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Earlier Thursday, former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he was quitting his diplomatic post to protest the mob violence, which Trump encouraged in a bid to overturn his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Several lower level officials also announced their departures, with under two weeks to go until Trump is replaced by November 3 election winner Joe Biden.

Other lawmakers also encouraged administration officials not to leave amid concerns that Trump could wreak more damage.

“I urge the good men and women honorably serving at all levels of the federal government to please stay at their post for the protection of our democracy,” said Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

“The actions of a rogue president will not and should not reflect on you,” he said in a statement.

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