As Donald Trump watched live coverage of the attack on the US Capitol, Secret Service agents protecting Mike Pence on January 6 feared for their lives and called family members to say goodbye.
The dramatic new details—revealed by an anonymous security official and aired during Thursday’s prime-time hearing— underscore the serious threat posed by the pro-Trump mob, as the former president refused to call off the violence. The committee on Thursday also presented chilling radio chatter of Pence’s security detail from that day, as they panicked over the vanishing window to escape the violence as the rioters advanced.
“If we lose any more time, we may lose the ability to leave,” an agent is heard saying. “If we are going to leave, we need to do it now.”
Secret Service agents assigned to VP Pence on Jan. 6 feared for their lives and made phone calls "to say goodbye to family members," an anonymous national security official says. https://t.co/x3eBXjJGw7 pic.twitter.com/P3mITWeErU
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 22, 2022
The radio chatter from Pence's Secret Service detail on Jan. 6, which National Security Council staff was listening to in real time: "If we lose any time, we may lose the ability to leave…If we are going to leave we need to do it now…" pic.twitter.com/XrPPqAnGcQ
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 22, 2022
Earlier in the hearing, the committee presented testimony from then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone that he had repeatedly urged Trump to make a forceful statement condemning the rioters as the violence escalated. The damning accounts add to the mountain of evidence that Trump delayed stepping in, putting Pence—and Secret Service members—under serious threat of being killed.