As violent, rioting supporters of President Donald Trump smashed windows and broke into the U.S. Capitol in apparent attempts to stop Congress from counting the Electoral certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory, a former top aide to Trump appears to have had enough.
Alyssa Farah, who has been a top communications aide not just to Trump, but also to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows when Meadows was a member of Congress, tweeted at Trump to "condemn this now" because "you are the only one they will listen to. For our country!"
But two hours later, when Trump's condemnation amounted to little more than a video egging on the false claims that the election was stolen while telling protesters to go home, Farah seems to have had enough of humoring her former boss.
Farah, who resigned from the White House last month, tweeted some hard truths at the mob surrounding the Capitol.
"Dear MAGA- I am one of you. Before I worked for @realDonaldTrump, I worked for @MarkMeadows & @Jim_Jordan & the @freedomcaucus. I marched in the 2010 Tea Party rallies. I campaigned w/ Trump & voted for him. But I need you to hear me: the Election was NOT stolen. We lost," she wrote on Twitter.
"There were cases of fraud that should be investigated. But the legitimate margins of victory for Biden are far too wide to change the outcome. You need to know that," Farah continued. "I'm proud of many policy accomplishments the Trump Admin had. But we must accept these results."
Why now? Farah said in an interview after sending the tweets that the violent images of Trump rioters breaching her former workplace led her to the belief that it was time to speak up.
"Republicans need to be honest with their voters: we lost," she said. "It's wrong to mislead and make millions who supported Trump think there is a path to victory. We shouldn't be surprised this turned violent — but it's incumbent on the president to denounce this and tell his supporters: it wasn't stolen."
Farah, who was Trump's director of strategic communications and also held positions in the Pentagon and Vice President Mike Pence's office, now joins the small group of former members of Trump's inner circle who have since come around to criticizing the president. That includes, among others, Olivia Troye, Pence's former homeland security advisor, who criticized the administration's response to coronavirus; Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who called him a racist and a con-man; and former Cabinet secretaries like Jim Mattis and Rex Tillerson.
Also joining that group on Wednesday, though less stridently, was former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney, who had recently written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal predicting that Trump would leave peacefully if he lost the election, called on the president to act on Twitter.
"The best thing @realdonaldtrump could do right now is to address the nation from the Oval Office and condemn the riots. A peaceful transition of power is essential to the country and needs to take place on 1/20," Mulvaney wrote on Twitter.
Mulvaney did not respond to a request to comment further.
They are hardly the only former Trump aides speaking out now. Former Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has been critical of Trump but speaks out rarely in public, told ABC's Jon Karl that the scene on Wednesday was as "un-American as anything I have seen" and took a shot at Meadows, noting this is what happens when you "let Trump be Trump" — a quote that has been Meadows' mantra as chief of staff.
Troye, who has been sharply critical of Trump almost daily since leaving her White House post, tweeted that Trump had incited this riot.
"Anyone who thinks Trump's additional rallying cries during his speech today & his tweets didn't incite what's happening at the US Capitol today—is part of the denialism that led us to this moment. #Trumpism isn't patriotism-It's #DomesticTerrorism," she wrote.
Other Republicans who are often tight-lipped spoke out, too. President George W. Bush released a statement, and although he didn't name drop Trump, he did allude to "falsehoods and false hopes" that have inflamed the mob attacking the Capitol.
"This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic," he Bush said in the statement. "I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some of our leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement."