US House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Friday she spoke to senior military officials about preventing an “awkward” President Donald Trump from ordering a nuclear strike.
“This morning I spoke with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley to discuss the precautions available to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear attack,” Pelosi wrote in a letter the House Democrats.
“This awkward president’s situation couldn’t be more dangerous, and we must do everything we can to protect the American people from their unbalanced attack on our country and our democracy,” she added.
That came two days after a violent riot that stormed the Capitol as legislators from the House and Senate gathered to confirm the vote of the electoral college and Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 presidential election.
Five people died in the crowd, including a policeman, a woman shot dead by the police and three people who had suffered medical emergencies on the spot.
Pelosi and her Senate counterpart Chuck Schumer on Thursday called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, which allows a majority in the cabinet to remove the president from office.
They argued that “the president’s dangerous and inflammatory actions required his immediate impeachment,” but Pence has yet to respond.
The Democrats are now considering impeachment proceedings against the president for the second time.
But Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, said in a statement that “with just 12 days left, the indictment against the president will only divide our country even more.”
“I reached out to President-elect Biden today and intend to speak to him about how we must work together to bring the temperature down and unite the country to solve America’s challenges,” he wrote.
78-year-old Biden is due to be inaugurated on January 20th. Trump tweeted on Friday that he would not attend the inauguration, undermining an earlier statement that he would ensure a “smooth, orderly and seamless transfer of power” for his successor.
He has not yet announced what he would do that day.
In a video released Thursday, Trump said that “it has been the honor of my life to serve as your president”. He also hinted that he could try to get back into the public arena, telling his followers, “Our incredible journey is just beginning.”