Politicians call for Trumpâs removal from office before Bidenâs inauguration, amid fears president will incite more violence
Donald Trumpâs final 13 days as US president pose a grave national security threat and warrant his immediate removal from office, politicians and activists said on Thursday.
Trump incited a mob of supporters to stage an insurrection at the US Capitol building in Washington, leading to four deaths, 68 arrests and bipartisan outrage.
The assault on the citadel of American democracy fueled a sense of foreboding about what the president, who possesses the nuclear codes, is capable of before he makes way for Joe Biden on 20 January. He could, for example, encourage his followers to march on government buildings and other state capitols again.
âHe needs to be removed,â said Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman. âHeâs a threat to this country. Weâre not safe with him in the White House. Our president is this countryâs greatest national security threat.â
Walsh added: âWhat he did yesterday, he could do again tomorrow. He could call another 50,000 people to Washington DC on Sunday to do whatever. He can use the power of his office to incite violence and insurrection again any day for the next 13 days.â
Trump is reportedly in a downward spiral as his time runs out at the White House, raging about his election loss, ignoring the deadly coronavirus pandemic and ever more delusional, paranoid and out of touch with reality. He feels betrayed by allies including Mike Pence, the vice-president who rubber-stamped the election result in the early hours of Thursday.
The Axios website reported: âSome stalwart aides and confidants â after years of enduring the crazy, and trying to modulate the chaos â have given up trying to communicate with him, considering him mentally unreachable.â
The sense of implosion in Trumpâs last days was underlined by the resignations on Wednesday of four administration officials including Stephanie Grisham, the first ladyâs chief of staff and a former White House press secretary.
The president even suffered the indignity of his prized Twitter account being suspended and Facebook and Instagram banning him indefinitely. He is now in perhaps the most volatile and unpredictable phase of his presidency.
Kurt Bardella, a senior adviser at the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project, said: âTwitter at one point decided he shouldnât be able to have access to his Twitter, and yet this is someone who has access to our nuclear launch codes. Thereâs an incongruity there.â
He added: âHeâs shown that he poses a clear and present danger to the welfare of our country. When you direct and cheer on a coup dâetat attempt while people are trying to ransack the United States Capitol, youâre not just a danger you are an enemy to the United States of America and should be treated as such.â
In a recent joint statement, all 10 living former defense secretaries issued a stark warning against the military interfering in a peaceful transfer of power. The army has also felt compelled to issue a statement asserting its independence from politics.
But although Trumpâs political power is draining away, his cult of personality still commands tremendous loyalty among his âMake America great againâ fanbase.
After he egged on supporters on Wednesday, they stormed the Capitol building and rampaged through its marbled halls and corridors, vandalizing membersâ offices and posing for photos inside the House and Senate chambers.
Yet the president offered little by way of condemnation, asking the rioters to go home peacefully but adding: âWe love you â youâre very special.â
Later Congress ratified Bidenâs victory, brushing aside objections from Trump loyalists. The president declared in a statement tweeted at 3.49am by aide Dan Scavino: âEven though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.â
However, past form suggests that statements prepared by Trumpâs aides are often quickly undermined by the presidentâs own public pronouncements. Such is the anxiety about Trumpâs potential to lash out in a final desperate act that some of Americaâs most influential cable news hosts are sounding the alarm.
Anderson Cooper of CNN asked: âCan the country handle 13 more days of President Trump?â Bret Baier told Fox News viewers: âI think this is a really dangerous period, as far as what is going to happen between now and January 20.â And Chris Hayes of MSNBC said: âThe president of the United States is clearly a danger and threat to the republic and needs to be lawfully removed from office as fast as is legally practicable.â
Some politicians have responded to the national sense of dread. At least eight Democratic senators and dozens of Democratic House members have demanded the presidentâs removal from office as soon as possible. The Republican House member Adam Kinzinger joined the calls.
Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate, said: âWhat happened at the US Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer.â
Schumer urged Pence and the cabinet to immediately invoke the 25th amendment to the constitution, which allows a president to be removed from office against his will because of physical or mental incapacity. Once unthinkable, such a scenario is at least now thinkable but remains unlikely.
Michael DâAntonio, author of The Truth About Trump, said: âHe has always been a monstrous narcissist â the monstrous part is key â and he is now that monster in its death throes.â
He added: âHe could attempt things similar to what happened yesterday and worse. I donât think that he recognizes that this is real. Everything to him is TV drama and people are not real to him. So I think heâs capable of seeking further violence, I just donât know if he can carry it off. He would love to burn the whole thing down but I donât think that heâll be able to.â
News – Fears mount that Trumpâs final 13 days in office pose a security threat