Chad Wolf, who resigned as Homeland Security acting secretary two days ago, said Wednesday that President Trump bears some responsibility for the events at the US Capitol last week.
“He’s the President. What he says matters,” Wolf told CNN. “People listen to him — particularly supporters of his, I would say, really listen to him — so there is responsibility there.”
However, it is for Congress to determine if it was an impeachable offense, Wolf said. He told CNN there is also personal responsibility for the rioters who entered the Capitol.
Some context: Wolf stepped down as acting secretary on Monday after a government watchdog and federal judges cast doubt on his legitimacy to lead the department, including in a court ruling last Friday blocking Trump administration asylum limits.
He served in an acting capacity for 14 months in the top role, a position that now will be filled by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor for the remaining days of the Trump administration.
The day after the attack on the Capitol, Wolf urged Trump and all other elected officials to condemn the violence in a sharply worded statement, while vowing to stay in his position until President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
“I was disappointed that the President didn’t speak out sooner on that. I think he had a role to do that. I think, unfortunately, the administration lost a little bit of the moral high ground on this issue by not coming out sooner on it,” he said Wednesday of condemning the violence.
Wolf told CNN he would like to see more from the President in terms of calling for nonviolent protests.
“[I]f you’re going to protest, you do that in a very nonviolent way. I’d like to have him speak, have him say that and just that,” Wolf said. “And have that be the message that carries the day.”