And although Mr. Trump never tried to contact Vice President Mike Pence directly, which angered the latter’s team, he shared his concerns about Pence with advisers who met all day in the dining room outside the Oval Office, General Trump said. Keith Kellogg, who was one of Trump’s aides.
Kellogg’s account comes amid conflicting reports that the former president was aware of the danger his vice president and members of Congress represented on the 6th. Janvier was in danger, and when he found out…
Back at the White House after a lunch meeting on the Ellipse, Trump and his aides were gathering around a flat-screen television in the presidential dining room when his supporters began storming the Capitol, Kellogg said.
Trump was then angry at Pence for telling him he would not try to undo the election results. The former president concentrated on counting the votes until noon.
As television showed rioters entering the Capitol and storming past security fences, Trump asked his staff if Pence was safe, according to Kellogg, who was Pence’s national security adviser but was with the president that day.
Aides told Trump that the vice president was under Secret Service surveillance and had been taken to a safe house, Kellogg said.
Anyway, he cared about Pence, he talked about Trump. Kellogg contacted the vice president through Pence’s staff on Capitol Hill. They contacted the White House and passed that information on to Kellogg.
Another person familiar with the situation confirmed Kellogg’s statement to CNN.
Numerous sources told CNN that Trump never contacted Pence directly.
At 2:24 p.m. ET, Trump tweeted that Pence lacked courage, a message that arrived minutes after the vice president was thrown from the Senate floor to safety. Attendees said they did not fully appreciate the gravity of the situation at the time of the tweet, as they do now in retrospect.
In the minutes that followed, however, the urgency of the situation became clearer. Those in the refectory weighed the pros and cons, and ultimately convinced Trump to send the protesters a tweet to make them peaceful – a sentiment he initially resisted, according to another source familiar with the matter.
Another source contradicted this characterization, stating that it was a very dynamic environment and that multiple versions of the tweet were circulating.
At one point, White House officials heard of an evacuation plan from Pence to Andrews Common Base that never materialized. Pence will remain on Capitol Hill and then return to the Senate chamber to oversee the certification of the Electoral College.
Separately, the night before Jan. 6, Mr. Trump heard protesters gathering in the Oval Office for the next day’s rally, according to a person familiar with the subject. The crowd’s energy led Trump to ask what he could do to put maximum pressure on lawmakers to oppose the Electoral College’s certification.
Auxiliary sheriffs told him his speech would be the center of attention.
CNN’s Jamie Gangel contributed to this story.
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