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Trump likely knew Pence was in danger at Capitol riot when tweeting attack


  • Donald Trump knew Mike Pence was in danger during the Capitol riot, evidence indicates.
  • Yet the former president continued to attack Pence on social media.
  • The evidence emerged on the second and third days of Trump’s impeachment trial.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Donald Trump likely knew of the danger facing Mike Pence when he attacked his vice president on Twitter during the Capitol riot, according to evidence that emerged during the former president’s impeachment trial this week.

GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville told reporters on Wednesday that Trump had called him on January 6, and that he had told the president Pence had just been ushered out. Tuberville didn’t specify the time of the call, but footage from the day showed Pence was taken from the Senate floor at 2:14 p.m.

“He didn’t get a chance to say a whole lot because I said, ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out. I’ve got to go,'” Tuberville said.

His remarks indicated that Trump was more aware of the danger posed to Pence than was previously known. 

At Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday, Democrats also showed video footage of Pence being escorted out of the Senate floor at 2:14 p.m. after rioters breached the Capitol.

Footage of Pence being taken to safety was also shown on live TV at the time, which Trump was watching, a source familiar with Trump’s actions on the day told The Washington Post.

Another source told the publication that the White House was routinely briefed on Pence’s movements by the Secret Service, and would likely have been aware of the danger he faced.

Yet at 2:24 p.m., Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

In footage played by impeachment managers Thursday, one rioter was shown reading Trump’s tweet aloud and others were shown chanting “hang Mike Pence” as they searched the Capitol for the vice president. 

A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

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The former president had been piling pressure on the vice president to refuse to certify Joe Biden’s election victory, the usually routine congressional procedure that rioters abruptly halted when they attacked the Capitol. 

Trump is accused by Democrats of doing little to quell the violence that erupted after his speech to supporters, and seeking instead to whip up their anger further. 

Trump’s attorneys are slated to present their defense of the former president on Friday.

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