The storming of the Capitol building has given rise to abject shock in the US and tensions between Trump and other Republican officials. Some have even threatened to resign in the wake of the riots; others have demanded the President unequivocally condemn the protest that has claimed the lives of four Trump supporters so far.
Senator Lindsay Graham, a longtime stalwart of the President, went so far as to say, "Trump and I went through a lot together, and I hate to end it like this, but all I can say is - get me out of this. Enough is enough. I tried to help." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also warned that "any attempt to overturn the election results will hurt our Republic forever."
Steve Scalise a congressman from the Republican Party representing Louisiana, also told
Fox News that he hopes to see Trump issue an unequivocal statement condemning the riots in his support. "One of the hallmarks of America is that we can argue about our differences, we can express our opinions, we have the right to assemble and freedom of expression, but we have no right to resort to violence to reconcile the differences between us."
Bloomberg reported that some senior White House officials had even considered resigning following the riots, or had already done so. The most senior of the lot is Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Putinger, who resigned in protest of "Trump's incitement of protesters".
According to quotes from senior White House officials, even National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien considered resigning but was persuaded not to do so. Other government officials who have announced their resignations in the past day are former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvani, who now serves as a special envoy to Ireland, and Melania Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham
The greatest of divides in the party, though, is undoubtedly between President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. The president has asked Pence to block the approval of electors in states where Trump has claimed there was election fraud, but Pence refused, claiming he "cannot do so." In response, Trump attacked Pence, saying that "he did not have the courage to do what he needed to." Pence's own chief of staff was thereafter ejected from the White House.
Immediately after the storming of the Capitol, presidential aides, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Medus and Social Media Director Dan Scabino, issued a scathing condemnation of protesters, but one White House official said "the president first enjoyed the sights outside the Capitol."
In the end, it was only after 45 minutes of watching the situation on television, and following pressure from his daughter Ivanka and other close advisers, that the president issued a videotaped statement calling on his supporters to "go home."