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Following Trump-incited riot, Mulvaney joins resigning officials

It wasn't until yesterday that Mick Mulvaney, a member of Team Trump for four painful years, realized he "just can't" be a part of this administration?
Image: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney addresses media briefing at the White House in Washington
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney addresses reporters during a news briefing at the White House on Oct. 17, 2019.Leah Millis / Reuters

A couple of years into Donald Trump's presidency, there was a running joke about Mick Mulvaney and the many jobs the president gave him. Mulvaney, a former far-right congressman, was originally tapped to serve as the White House budget director, but before long, he was also leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Soon after, Trump made him White House chief of staff. After Mulvaney was no longer politically useful, the president named him the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland.

That job, however, will apparently be his last.

President Donald Trump's former acting chief of staff and current special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said he has resigned from his post after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. "I called [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I would be resigning from that. I just can't do it. I can't stay," Mulvaney said in an interview with CNBC.

Mulvaney conceded his resignation doesn't have any real practical significance, but he felt the need to do it anyway. "I can't stay here, not after yesterday," Mulvaney said. "You can't look at that yesterday and think I want to be a part of that."

While his resignation is arguably the highest profile departure after yesterday's Trump-incited riot, there have been others. White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger has also reportedly resigned, as have a handful of other officials, including a deputy press secretary and a White House social secretary. (I believe the first to quit was Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump's chief of staff.)

By some accounts, the list is expected to grow today.

And that's probably a good thing. For four years, I've been among the many who've marveled at some officials' willingness to tolerate and enable Trump's madness, wondering what it'd take for them to resign. Evidently, Trump inciting an attack on his own country's Capitol -- because he's desperate to nullify election results he doesn't like -- was a bridge too far.

I'm not inclined to criticize those who take the step I've long suggested they take. But it's not unreasonable to ask these same officials what in the world took them so long.

It wasn't until yesterday that Mick Mulvaney, a member of Team Trump for four painful years, realized that he "just can't" be a part of this administration?