WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey joined calls from a handful of his GOP colleagues Sunday for President Donald Trump to resign for
WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey joined calls from a handful of his GOP colleagues Sunday for President Donald Trump to resign for “recruiting thousands of Americans” and “inciting them to attack the Capitol building” last week.
Toomey, who on Saturday said he believed Trump has committed impeachable offenses, argued that resignation is the only realistic option for Trump’s departure before his term ends on Jan. 20 because he doesn’t believe Trump’s Cabinet would remove him from office under the 25th Amendment and believes there is not enough time for Congress to impeach him before he’s set to leave office.
“The best way for our country,” Toomey told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” is “for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible. I acknowledge that may not be likely but that would be best.”
Toomey said that apart from Trump’s comments surrounding the riots, the president’s conduct since he lost his re-election bid in November has been “madness.”
“After the election, he took this to an entirely different place, orders of magnitude different,” Toomey said. “Recruiting thousands of Americans from around the country to descend on the Capitol, promising a ‘wild ride’ and inciting them to attack the Capitol building so as to prevent the constitutional responsibility of the vice president and the Congress to complete the peaceful transfer of power.”
The Republican senator, who is not seeking re-election in 2022, said the president should face consequences for the riots last week, where Trump supporters left a rally to storm the Capitol, sparking clashes that ultimately led to five deaths.
Despite Trump’s track record of pushing false information and lies, his focus on settling scores with those who oppose him and charges of pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political opponent that led to his impeachment last year, Toomey called the president’s more recent conduct a significant escalation. “I don’t think his unbelievable behavior from Wednesday could have been reasonably expected,” Toomey said.
“The president spiraled down into a kind of madness that was different. I’m sorry if people don’t acknowledge that, I think what he did this past week is wildly different from the offensive tweets that were common during his presidency.”
Two pipe bombs were recovered during the scene at the Republican and Democratic party headquarters, and police uncovered weapons including Molotov cocktails and guns during arrests of some of the alleged rioters.
Hours before the attack on the Capitol, Trump spoke at a rally meant to correspond with Congress’ counting of the Electoral College, and called on Vice President Mike Pence to use his ceremonial role to declare him the winner, describing the country as “under siege,” and warning that Republican lawmakers should “fight” for him or face a primary challenge in their re-election.
Trump remained silent for hours as lawmakers, staff and reporters sheltered in the Capitol building, which was at times overrun by a mob of the president’s supporters.
By Wednesday evening, he tweeted that the riot was a result of what happens “when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever.” He later tweeted a video where he condemned the violence at the Capitol, and has since been banned on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Wednesday’s riots have prompted the majorities of both House and Senate Democrats to support Trump’s removal from office, with some Republicans, including Toomey, joining calls for Trump’s removal or resignation and some administration staff resigning in protest.
“The assault on the Capitol was a violent insurrection that was incited and encouraged by Donald Trump,” New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of House Democratic leadership, told “Meet the Press,” adding that Trump is a “clear and present danger to the health and safety of the American people.”
But even if Trump doesn’t leave office early, either by removal or by resignation, Toomey believes the episode has dealt an irrecoverable blow to Trump, who has floated the idea of running for president again in 2024.
“There’s no good way to deal with this, it’s a terrible situation he put us in. But it is appropriate there would be consequences,” Toomey said.
“He’s disqualified himself, I don’t think he can be the Republican nominee and I certainly don’t think he could win a general election.”
It’s not just the president facing criticism for Wednesday — many Democrats, and some Republicans too, have criticized Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz of Missouri and Texas for their vocal support for the president’s push to object to the Electoral College.
When asked if he would like to see either man resign from the Senate, Toomey said “that’s their judgment” but that “they’re going to have rough sledding ahead.”
Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com