President Donald Trump‘s cabinet is unlikely to remove him from office in the final days of his term, but the White House is operating under a ‘de facto 25th Amendment’ with cabinet members essentially ignoring Trump, a reporter claims.
Several top cabinet members are vowing to remain in the administration through January 20, when Trump’s term ends, but are ‘operating as if he is not the president,’ administration officials told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan.
‘The reality is, based on my reporting over the last 48 hours, is the idea of a 25th Amendment, while it was raised in the heat of Wednesday, it was never seen as a serious possibility by members of the cabinet,’ Swan told MSNBC.
‘But what has happened instead is kind of a de facto 25th Amendment,’ Swan added of Trump’s cabinet. ‘They are operating as if he is not the president, many of these senior officials, ignoring him and staying away from the West Wing, staying away from him hoping that he doesn’t call.’
‘But what has happened instead is kind of a de facto 25th Amendment,’ reporter Jonathan Swan (above) said of Trump’s cabinet. ‘They are operating as if he is not the president
Several top cabinet members are vowing to remain in the administration through January 20, when Trump’s term ends, but are said to be ‘operating as if he is not the president’
Swan said that the situation ‘raises really uncomfortable questions about the chain of command and where we’re at right now with the government.’
He said that cabinet members are ‘just continuing to run their agencies and run the government without his involvement.’
‘And with a steely — and much more steely now — resolve that should he issue any orders that they deem dangerous or unlawful, they will flatly refuse those orders. That’s where we’re at,’ he added.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned in disgust after Trump’s loyalist rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, leaving a police officer and four others dead in the chaos.
Other top cabinet members are vowing to stay on to prevent Trump from taking dangerous actions in his remaining days in the White House.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intends to finish out the term, a source briefed on his thinking told Axios.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly intends to finish out the term, at the urging of Senate Republicans who want to ensure guardrails in Trump’s final days
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was said to be among those cabinet members considering invoking the 25th Amendment, but this is seen as unworkable by members
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone have also been urged by Senate Republicans to remain in office for the sake of national security.
With just 11 days left in Trump’s term, cabinet members are said to view invoking the 25th Amendment as technically unworkable and bad for the country.
The Constitutional amendment allows the cabinet to designate the Vice President as Acting President with a majority vote, and was written for situations in which a president is medically incapacitated.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday introduced a single article of impeachment against Trump, on the charge of incitement of insurrection, and vowed to bring it to a vote if Trump’s cabinet does not remove him by Monday.
Pelosi also told her Democrat colleagues Friday that she phoned the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss ‘precautions’ to prevent Trump from starting a war or accessing nuclear launch codes.
She said she had asked Army General Mark Milley how to keep an ‘unhinged president’ away from the nuclear codes and stop him from launching a unilateral military action.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday introduced a single article of impeachment against Trump and vowed to bring it to a vote on Monday if Trump doesn’t leave office
Notably, she did not reveal what response Milley provided, or whether any security guardrails have been established.
‘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,’ she wrote.
She also revealed that Vice President Mike Pence has not returned her call seeking to discuss the 25th Amendment, whereby he and a majority of the Trump cabinet might move to strip Trump of power and make Pence the ‘acting president.’
It came as an increasingly isolated and angry Trump had his main public megaphone confiscated by Twitter, which permanently banned his account on Friday.
Twitter has long resisted pressure to suspend Trump’s account, but said that after a ‘close review’ of the president’s recent tweets, it ‘had permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.’
Trump later used the official @POTUS government to lash out at Twitter, addressing the 75 million ‘great patriots’ who voted for him: ‘We will not be SILENCED!’
His tweets from the @POTUS account, which will be transferred to Joe Biden after the January 20 inauguration, were deleted by Twitter almost immediately.
The permanently suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump is seen on Friday
President Trump on Friday night found a loophole around his Twitter ban by using the @POTUS account. The tweets claimed that he may set up his own social media platform but were quickly deleted again
Twitter then played whack-a-mole as a desperate Trump tried to use his aides’ accounts to reach his followers.
The Trump 2020 campaign Twitter account was the next to receive a suspension after it tweeted the president’s message amid increasingly desperate efforts to reach his following.
Digital director for the Trump campaign, Gary Coby, was next on the chopping block after he appeared to change his username to Donald J. Trump and in a tweet, offered the handle over to the president’s Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
‘@DanScavino texting you my Twitter login … I already updated the profile pic, name, etc.’ the tweet read. ‘Feel free to use!’
Twitter has not commented on the suspensions since it announced the permanent ban on Trump’s account on Friday evening.