President Donald Trump is running out of options, friends and Cabinet members after inciting a mob to march on the U.S. Capitol, where one of his supporters was killed, three others died from medical emergencies and at least one of them clubbed a police officer to death.
The president attempted to undo some of the damage by recording a contrite-sounding video after his Twitter suspension ended Thursday evening, after White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned him that he faced legal exposure from the riot -- but his remaining advisers said he remained more consumed with his election loss than the violence he provoked, reported the Wall Street Journal.
"It's like watching someone self-destruct in front of your very eyes," said one adviser, "and you can't do anything."
White House officials avoided the Oval Office, where the president is mired "in a dark place" and nursing a grudge against Vice President Mike Pence, whom he expected to overturn their election loss during the congressional certification of Joe Biden's win.
"I don't want to be your friend," Trump fumed at Pence on Wednesday, before the president addressed his supporters. "I want you to be the vice president."
Trump would normally spend hours on the phone with friends and advisers during a crisis, but the Journal reported that he declined to take the few calls that did come in Wednesday and Thursday, including one from Chris Christie, who spent nearly a half hour trying to reach the president as violence raged at the Capitol, and multiple Cabinet officials have resigned since the siege.
"People are very realistic about how bad this is," one adviser told the newspaper.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have asked Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his presidential powers for next two weeks or they'll impeach the president, who's discussing a legally dubious self-pardon with advisers.
It's not clear whether a president can actually do that, but some Trump advisers are pushing him to take one last unprecedented action before his presidency ends.