White House Security Official: Jan. 6 Was No Rally, Trump Attempted A Coup


White House security professionals on-site during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection were aghast when former President Donald Trump tried to lead the violent mob he’d riled up that day to the U.S. Capitol ― and saw it as a direct attack on democracy itself.

An officer told Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) they “were all in a state of shock” at Trump’s pronouncement, according to testimony played by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at a hearing Thursday.

The security professional, who was not identified by name, added that their concerns went well beyond fulfilling their duty to keep the president safe and the White House secure.

If Trump directed the crowd to the Capitol, he said, “we all knew what that implicated and what that meant: That this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else.”

He added: “I don’t know if you want to use the word insurrection, coup, whatever. We all knew this would move from a normal, democratic, you know, public event into something else.”

(Watch that portion of the testimony in the player above.)

Text messages and emails released by the committee Thursday also showed that the Secret Service was aware in December 2020 that protesters might seek to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6.

And in July, the committee revealed that Trump knew members of the crowd were heavily armed before he aimed them at a co-equal branch of government. But he was unconcerned, reportedly waving off the danger because “they’re not here to hurt me,” according to testimony from former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchison.



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