Some Trump officials are so horrified by the Capitol riot that they plan to refuse instructions that they think will put the US at risk, report says

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, before some of them stormed the US Capitol. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • Some of President Donald Trump's top officials plan to refuse any orders they think could endanger the country or break the law in the last days of his presidency, Axios reported.

  • Axios reported, paraphrasing its sources, that most of Trump's top officials now view him as "unfit and unhinged" after seeing him incite his supporters to storm the Capitol on Wednesday.

  • Many administration officials have quit their jobs over the riot, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned from Trump's cabinet.

  • But CNN and Axios reported that Democrat and Republican officials are urging some national-security aides to stay in their roles to prevent another crisis.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Related: What the storming of the US Capitol looked like on Wednesday

Some of President Donald Trump's top officials have been so horrified by the Capitol riot that they plan to reject any orders that they think could be dangerous or unlawful, Axios reported Thursday.

Two senior national security officials told Axios' Jonathan Swan that both they and their colleagues will refuse instructions that they think would harm the US or go against the law, and force Trump to fire them instead.

Trump has 12 days left in office.

Axios also paraphrased sources who told them that most of Trump's top officials now view the president as "unfit and unhinged."

Trump is facing threats of impeachment and removal from office, via the 25th Amendment, amid unprecedented backlash from the Republican Party, current and former aides, and Democrats, after he incited his supporters to storm the Capitol on Wednesday.

Since then, two of his cabinet officials have resigned: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Trump supporters take over balconies and inauguration scaffolding at the Capitol on Wednesday. Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty

Mick Mulvaney, his former White House chief of staff, also resigned from his role as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Thursday. Officials from the Department of Commerce and National Security Council also resigned.

But both CNN and Axios noted that officials from both political parties, as well as Senate Republicans, are trying to urge some national-security officials to stay in their roles so they can prevent another crisis if America's adversaries decide to make a move against America in the wake of the Capitol chaos.

A pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol after Trump addressed his supporters and told them to march on the Capitol. His supporters broke windows, went to the Senate floor, and entered and trashed congressional offices.

It resulted in lawmakers being evacuated from a joint session of Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

capitol seige
Rep. Jason Crow comforts Rep. Susan Wild while taking cover as protesters disrupted the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, have died.

Lawmakers are now accusing Trump of inciting the violence, and of not trying to stop it while it was underway.

During the attack, he told rioters in a tweet to "go home, we love you, you are very special." Aides said they gave up trying to communicate with him during the crisis.

On Thursday, he called the storming of the Capitol a "heinous attack" and acknowledged that there would be a smooth transition to the "next administration." He did not mention Biden's name.

Read more: These are all the federal crimes Trump extremists could be charged with after their attack on the US Capitol

US Capitol riots aftermath
The aftermath of the US Capitol riots. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty

According to The New York Times, Trump had refused to issue any statement condemning his supporters until he realized that he could face legal trouble for inciting them in the first place.

Aides also told CNN that Trump released this statement in an effort to stop more resignations and to reduce talk about removing Trump from office.

Trump's cabinet has discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, CBS News, ABC News, and CNN reported.

However, as Insider's Tom LoBianco reported Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence does not support the move.

A rioter waves a pro-Trump flag inside the Capitol. Getty/Kent Nishimura

Democrats have urged Pence to use it, and Pelosi said that she would move to impeach Trump for a second time if his cabinet does not remove him with the 25th Amendment.

The acting US attorney in Washington, DC, has said that federal prosecutors are investigating "all actors" involved in the riot. He did not rule out investigating Trump.

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