Politics - News Analysis
New Bombshell: Pence Aides Feared Secret Service Would ‘Fly Him To Alaska’ to Stop Him From Certifying Election
As our favorite television analyst, Nicolle Wallace, said yesterday, Phillip Rucker and Carol Leonnig’s new book “I Alone Can Fix It” is allowing us to make a film out of what had previously been snapshots, all seemingly related but not strung out in a coherent narrative.
Nicolle has her eyes on a particular detail that came out yesterday and snuck by many of us, it was subtle. She and Twitter (It is trending all over Twitter this morning) are looking at the possibility that there was a Secret Service conspiracy on January 6th, working in conjunction with Trump, to force Pence’s hand. Is this why McConnell was begging senators for the “personal favor” and voting “no” against an investigation? It is very compelling.
Knowing that Mike Pence was the key to the entirety of January 6th, it looks like Trump’s speech and demonstration were all focused on intimidating Pence and possibly give the Secret Service the opportunity to take Pence out of the picture, keeping him away from the proceedings. Pence may be a moron, but a Vice President’s staff would have a lot of geniuses and it sounds like many of them were picking up the message that all of this was about Pence, including the siege on the Capitol.
Trump was texting about Pence’s failures while the rioters broke through, and at the very same time, Pence didn’t even trust that Trump might be working in coordination with the Secret Service. It sure looks like Pence believed a coup was occurring and that Pence didn’t trust Trump to allow him out alive.
“At 2:26, after a team of agents scouted a safe path to ensure the Pences would not encounter trouble, Giebels and the rest of Pence’s detail guided them down a staircase to a secure subterranean area that rioters couldn’t reach, where the vice president’s armored limousine awaited. Giebels asked Pence to get in one of the vehicles,” the book described.
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“I’m not getting in the car, Tim,” Pence told him. “I trust you, Tim, but you’re not driving the car. If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. I’m not getting in the car.”
We know from reading about the November election day itself that many Secret Service agents in and around the White House were very loyal to Trump, all wearing red ties that day. Pence would surely know of this level of loyalty, it now makes perfect sense that Pence would feel uneasy about trusting the Secret Service as an organization (as opposed to his personal detail).
What if Pence already knew that the entire production was about giving the Secret Service an excuse to whisk Pence off and say whatever needed to be said, perhaps forcing him to say or do something? We don’t know. But:
At the White House, ret. Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser, ran into Tony Ornato who oversaw the Secret Service movements. Ornato told Kellogg that they were going to take Pence to Joint Base Andrews.
“You can’t do that, Tony,” Kellogg said. “Leave him where he’s at. He’s got a job to do. I know you guys too well. You’ll fly him to Alaska if you have a chance. Don’t do it.”
There is it. “He has a job to do. I know you guys too well. You will fly him to Alaska if you have a chance.” That sounds to us like a conspiracy, under the rubric of “safety,” to take Pence out. They wouldn’t “take his life” (unless they’re sicker than we thought) but they would do the equivalent of “flying him to Alaska.” They could hide Pence in some maze somewhere underground DC (Clearly they could drive from the Capitol to Andrews underground, the book says that’s what they were trying to do and that’s not a surprise.)
In doing so, they could’ve prevented Pence from overseeing the counting, perhaps giving the Republican senators enough time to get another delay. The entire “riot” may have been just a means of moving Pence out of the way if he didn’t go along with Trump’s wishes or forcing him to go along with Trump’s wishes by threatening to hand him off to the rioters.
This is just so horrifying and many of us looked right over it yesterday, amidst all the other shocking details.
Mike Pence knew it was a coup and thought the Secret Service was going to disappear him. There goes all the arguments that it wasn't a coup.
— I Smoked Trump's Inaugural Fund Chairman (@BlackKnight10k) July 16, 2021
The news about generals suspecting a Trump coup is maddening because they could’ve said something at the time. Lives could have been saved. Also Mike Pence didn’t want to go with Secret Service because he feared they would be in on the coup. Now he’s back up Trump’s ass.
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) July 16, 2021
Saw Pence trending and was thinking how the insurrectionists tried to kill him on January 6, in front of his wife and daughter, and Trump never even called him to ask how he was. The two didn't speak for a week after the attack on the Capitol. Don't forget that part of the coup. pic.twitter.com/XLUtrWk3fp
— Victoria Brownworth #GetVaccinatedNOW (@VABVOX) July 16, 2021
Both Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post focus—in their tweets about their new book excerpt—on Pence and his chief national security adviser fearing Secret Service involvement in the January 6 coup attempt.
Pence and Kellogg were right. https://t.co/AJq59M5Mom
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 16, 2021
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