The former president’s call was intended for Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and was intended to encourage Tuberville to throw up more procedural roadblocks to Congress’ certification of the election results.
Lee passed the phone to his colleague for a brief call before they were ushered out of the Senate chamber to safety, minutes before a mob stormed the room. During the brief discussion, Tuberville informed Trump that Pence had been evacuated from the chamber just minutes earlier, the Alabama senator has confirmed.
Trump’s trial defense team said he was unaware that Pence was in danger when he tweeted.
Tuberville’s initial disclosure of the call to POLITICO earlier in the week raised the possibility that it occurred before Trump tweeted his attack. But the new timeline reveals that Trump’s tweet attacking Pence came just prior to the discussion.
In either case, Trump made no public comments to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol until hours later, and he made no public attempt to defend his vice president while the violence unfolded.
It’s unclear whether Trump was aware of Pence’s exit from the chamber via other sources — it was widely televised and Pence’s Secret Service team was likely in communication with the White House throughout.