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Hearing examines where Trump was for the 187 minutes of the attack on the Capitol

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

It was the worst attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812. Rioters attacked police, stormed through hallways and threatened the life of the then-vice president.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The January 6 committee released outtakes of a speech that former President Trump gave on January 6, and he still wasn't ready to say he lost.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results. I don't want to say the election's over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election's over, OK?

MARTIN: Those outtakes and more new evidence were part of last night's primetime hearing by the House select January 6 committee.

FADEL: To walk us through all of this is NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisales. Good morning.

CLAUDIA GRISALES, BYLINE: Good morning, Leila.

FADEL: So the House select committee dubbed this the 187-minute hearing. That's the more than 3 hours between Trump's speech and when he finally told rioters he loved them, but they should go home. Walk us through what we learned about what he was doing during those 187 minutes.

GRISALES: Right. We learned that Trump watched the January 6 insurrection unfold on Fox News from a dining room in the White House and seemingly did little else. During this time, the White House was inundated with urgent messages from Trump allies pleading for Trump to call off the mob. One of those was GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who asked Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for help.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JARED KUSHNER: He told me it was getting really ugly over at the Capitol and said, please, you know, anything you could do to help, I would appreciate it. I don't recall a specific ask - just anything you could do. Again, I got the sense that, you know, they were scared.

GRISALES: It was just one of many moments illustrating how Trump remained unmoved and out of sight during these critical hours.

FADEL: Now, the committee didn't just focus on those critical hours. They examined what Trump was doing that night and then the next day. What was going on in the White House then?

GRISALES: Right. Many of his advisers were, quote, "disgusted" Trump did not issue much of a forceful rebuke of the rioters. The two witnesses who appeared before the panel last night, former Trump White House aide Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, both quit within hours of the attack. Here's Sarah Matthews, former deputy Trump White House press secretary.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SARAH MATTHEWS: His refusal to act and call off the mob that day and his refusal to condemn the violence was indefensible.

GRISALES: And ex-deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger said he decided to quit when Trump went after his then-vice president, Mike Pence, in a tweet during the attack, adding fuel to the fire.

FADEL: And some of the most dramatic moments yesterday focused on then-Vice President Mike Pence and his security detail. Can you tell us about that?

GRISALES: Yes, we heard dramatic radio traffic from Secret Service for the first time. And we also heard from one anonymous security official that the detail to the vice president was in fear for their lives.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIAL: There were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on, so forth. It was getting - for whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.

GRISALES: Very ugly, the official says there, and this is another reminder how dangerous this breach became.

FADEL: We also got some glimpses of the road ahead. What's next?

GRISALES: Right. The committee laid out plans to continue their probe in the coming weeks. And Republican Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that they want to resume perhaps another series of hearings in September as the committee looks to issue an initial report. And that will be followed by a final report by the end of the year.

FADEL: NPR's Claudia Grisales, thank you so much.

GRISALES: Thank you much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.