Former Vice President Mike Pence rejected Secret Service pressure to be kicked out of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection because he feared he would no longer be able to preside over congressional certification of electoral votes for president, according to a new report. book.
Secret Service agents feared for Pence’s life in the US Capitol that day, while the insurgents demanded that the then vice president be “hanged” for rejecting Donald Trump’s demand to reject the US voters’ choice of president. .
Pence was initially transferred to his ceremonial office, but Tim Giebels, in charge of Pence’s security detail, was still concerned for his safety and asked Pence, twice, to “evacuate the capitol, ”According to the book“ I Can Only Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Last Catastrophic Year, ”by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.
Pence refused. “I’m not leaving the Capitol,” he told Giebels, worried that speeding away from the building would do it. “vindicate the insurrection, ”According to the book, due out Tuesday.
Eventually, he was escorted to an underground location, where Pence’s armored limousine was waiting for him, and was told to get in the car.
“I’m not getting in the car, Tim,” Pence responded, according to Rucker and Leonnig. “If I get in that vehicle, you are taking off. I’m not going to get in the car. “
Tony Ornato, who oversaw Secret Service movements, reportedly told senior White House official Keith Kellogg in the West Wing that agents were planning to transfer Pence to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
“You can’t do that, Tony,” Kellogg said, according to the book. “Leave him where he is. He has a job to do.” I know them too well. You will take it to Alaska if you get the chance. Do not do it “.
He will “stay there,” Kellogg added, according to the book. “If he has to wait there all night, he will.” (Ornato denied that the conversation took place).
Trump, meanwhile, reportedly asked a White House aide, “Is Mike okay?” Trump also at that time praised the insurgents in a tweet and threw pennies for not having the “courage” to reverse the elections.
When told that Secret Service agents were with the vice president, Trump reportedly responded, “Oh?” – and continued to watch the events unfolding on television.
At 4 p.m., Pence called Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, the book reported.
“Bring troops here; Get them here now, “Pence ordered, according to the authors.” We have to get Congress to do its thing. “
That night, after the Capitol was cleared of insurgents, Pence reconvened the Senate in session.
“For those who wreaked havoc on our Capitol today, you didn’t win,” he said. “Violence never wins. Freedom wins, and this is still the people’s house. “
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