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jumping ship

The White House reportedly resembles 'a ghost town' amid a rush of quiet, post–Capitol siege resignations

Two Cabinet secretaries, a high-profile diplomatic emissary, and several medium-level White House staffers have resigned in response to Wednesday's violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, but "those who've visited the Old Executive Office Building recently describe it as something of a ghost town," Eliana Johnson wrote in Sunday's Politico Playbook.

Some of that is likely due to people working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, "but the vision of tumbleweeds blowing through the corridors of power says something about where we're at," Johnson writes. "Many Republicans not named Stephen Miller and Johnny McEntee have fled the White House — and there have been a lot more resignations than reported."

Johnson, editor-in-chief of the conservative Washington Free Beacon, said she spends "a lot of my time with conservatives, Republicans, and MAGA-heads," and "what they’re talking about right now" is Trump throwing Vice President Mike Pence to the wolves and, more broadly, how much power Trump will wield after he leaves office, given last week's events. "Republicans, at least the ones I spoke with, are unanimous in the view that Trump's role in inciting his diehards has undermined his influence," she said, and while "I suspect any accomplishments will be entirely overshadowed by his unwillingness to concede and his decision to incite a mob," Republicans would also "have to be a fool to underestimate the soon-to-be-ex-president's appetite for revenge."

That may explain the quiet resignations, but Johnson also notes that the anti-Trump Lincoln Project is taking names and vowing to make sure Trump officials and staff will not be "allowed to pretend they were not involved."