- Sullivan told Milley on Jan. 6 that a tentative plan to move senators by bus could present danger.
- Senators had already been rushed to a secure location within the Capitol after the riot broke out.
- Pelosi and Schumer later got on a call with Pentagon leaders to express alarm at the response.
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After Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska surveyed the harrowing scene at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, he called General Mark Milley and spoke against a tentative plan to evacuate senators by bus, an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker said.
Sullivan, who was reelected to a second term last year, witnessed insurrectionists roaming through the ornate halls of Congress and laying out grievances of what they viewed as an election that was “rigged” against former President Donald Trump.
At 3:15 p.m. that day, Sullivan called Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and gave him a blunt assessment of what was transpiring at the Capitol, the excerpt from “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” said.
“This is really f—ed up down here,” the senator reportedly told Milley.
After the rioters breached the Capitol during the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, numerous lawmakers were rushed into a secure room to escape the mayhem that had seeped into its halls.
On the phone call, Sullivan informed Milley that the senators had been moved to a secure location and said that Capitol Police drafted a tentative plan to evacuate the leaders away from the complex by bus.
The senator, equipped with military training, felt as though the plan was rife with danger and expressed as much.
“I’m going to tell them it’s a bad idea,” he reportedly told Milley. “Can I mention that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs agrees?”
Milley reportedly said “yes” to Sullivan and the evacuation plan was not carried out by the Capitol Police.
Minutes later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called acting defense secretary Chris Miller, who had additional Pentagon leaders on the line for the conversation.
“We want action now,” one of the congressional leaders said. “We must have active-duty troops.”
After being told by Milley that the National Guard would soon be arriving at the Capitol and even after Miller said that the FBI was on its way, Pelosi and Schumer continued to insist on a more robust military presence.
“The country is at stake,” Pelosi said.