Mike Pence's Secret Service Detail Was 'Making Calls to Say Goodbye' as Mob Approached: Official

"The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives," an anonymous security official testified

Trump and Pence
Donald Trump (left), Mike Pence. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/Getty; Alex Wong/Getty

As the violent crowd of Donald Trump's supporters grew closer to former Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021, those on his security detail were so worried for their safety that they made goodbye calls to their families.

That detail came via an anonymous security official, who told the committee in an interview aired Thursday that he was listening to radio communications coming from Pence's security detail and overheard the fear in their voices and "yelling" in the background.

"The VP detail thought this was about to get ugly," the security official said, in an interview that was modified to protect the individual's identity. "The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives."

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The official continued: "There were a lot of — there was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio, so it was disturbing. I don't like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth."

The testimony from the security official aired Thursday in primetime came on the heels of shocking revelations from fellow former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that Donald Trump was aware his supporters were armed in D.C. on Jan. 6, and that he lunged at a member of his own Secret Service detail in the car in an attempt to reach the Capitol that day.

Elsewhere in his testimony, the anonymous security official backed up Hutchinson's testimony that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol himself, saying, "we were all in a state of shock," at the notion. The person added that taking the president to the Capitol would mean the rally would "move from a normal, Democratic .. public event into something else."

"The president wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol," the security official said, in the pre-recorded audio. "I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed."

The committee has heard from other witnesses that former president Trump allegedly endorsed chants by his supporters to "hang Mike Pence" that day.

In his March 2021 interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, Trump himself said the chants about hanging Pence were "common sense" because "the people were very angry."

"I thought he was well protected, and I heard that he was in good shape," Trump told Karl, who interviewed him for his book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.

"Well, the people were very angry," Trump also said. "It's common sense. It's common sense that you're supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? How can you pass a fraudulent vote to Congress?"

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Thursday's hearing was the eighth held so far, though committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said there are more to come.

"We have far more evidence to share with the American people," Cheney said, adding that further hearings will convene in September, after the committee spends August "pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts."

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