Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf says he won’t resign after a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol — but he adds that Trump must condemn the chaos.
The White House announced the withdrawal of Wolf’s nomination to fill the DHS post full-time shortly after his statement, but said the move was unrelated.
Wolf was abroad when his agency contributed manpower to put down the rioters who disrupted certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
“What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,” Wolf said in his statement Thursday morning, blasting any “elected official” who might incite such mayhem.
“While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, specifically violence directed at law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends. This is unacceptable.”
Wolf continued: “These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday.”
Trump did urge an end to the violence on Twitter, but he also posted a message that the social media platform removed for seeming to glorify the rampage, which police say resulted in four deaths, including the fatal police shooting of a Trump supporter.
The melee occurred after Trump addressed thousands of supporters near the White House. The president told them the election was stolen from him, and urged the crowd to march on the Capitol, which they did.
“Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,” Wolf said.
“Every American is guaranteed the right to peacefully protest, but once those protests become violent, we should enforce our laws and bring those responsible to justice—regardless of political motivations. After a challenging and saddening 2020, it’s time for every American to respect each other and the rule of law in 2021,” he said.
“I will remain in my position until the end of the Administration to ensure the Department’s focus remains on the serious threats facing our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Post that the yanking of Wolf’s nomination was in the works Wednesday, although it wasn’t publicly announced until after his Thursday statement.
Deere said, “The withdrawal occurred yesterday and was not related at all to Wednesday’s events or the Acting Secretary’s comments this morning. Acting Secretary Wolf remains the acting secretary and continues to perform the duties of his office.”
The House and Senate ultimately approved Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win in the early hours of Thursday.
Wolf’s standing with Trump previously appeared on the rocks following the Nov. 3 election when he resisted Trump’s wishes to fire cybersecurity official Chris Krebs, who pushed back on Trump’s claims of election fraud. Trump ultimately fired Krebs on his own.
Many Trump White House officials quit their jobs after the Capitol break-in — two weeks earlier than the official handover on Jan. 20. The stream of defections began with first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, who is a Trump White House “original” serving since 2017. Grisham previously was White House press secretary.
Also quitting were spokeswoman Sarah Matthews and former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was Trump’s envoy to Northern Ireland, and Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger, known for being among the few White House aides to adopt mask-wearing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wolf will return Friday from a trip to Bahrain, Qatar and Cyprus.
DHS Sec. Chad Wolf won’t resign, but wants Trump to denounce Capitol siege The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.