Chuck Schumer Recalls Hearing Threats of ‘Get Him’ on Jan. 6 Before Being Dragged to Safety by Police – PEOPLE

The Senate majority leader told USA Today he was “within 20 feet” of those who stormed the Capitol that day

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened up this week about his experience on Jan. 6, 2021, saying he was “on the floor of the Senate at 1 p.m.” as Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize the victory of then President-elect Joe Biden.

About an hour later, he said, “a police officer in a bulletproof vest, submachine gun strapped across his waist, grabs me by the collar.”

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“I’ll never forget it,” Schumer, 71, told USA Today in a video interview released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the pro-Trump riots. ” ‘Senator, you’re in danger. We gotta get out of here.’ “

The New York Democrat said he was “within 20 feet” of those who stormed the Capitol that day — adding that the situation, in which five people were killed, could have been worse: “Had one of them had a gun, had two of them blocked off the door, who knows what would have happened.”

Schumer told USA Today that he was later told that one of the rioters had seen him, making an anti-Semitic and threatening reference overheard by others.

“One of them was reputed to see me and say, ‘There’s the big Jew, let’s get him,’ ” Schumer said.

Congress Holds Joint Session To Ratify 2020 Presidential Election

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Jan. 6 Capitol riots

| Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During the violence, Schumer said he tried to get then-President Donald Trump on the phone, though “he wouldn’t talk to me.”

Schumer did, however, get through to the acting attorney general and the secretary of defense, urging them to call Trump to call on his supporters to quell the violence.

Echoing other reports about how Trump resisted such entreaties, Schumer told USA Today: “It’s amazing how Donald Trump resisted calling them back until 5:30, 6:00 [p.m.] when they were already leaving.”

Speaking from the Senate floor on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots, Schumer said the riots were rooted in “Donald Trump’s big lie: that the election of 2020 was illegitimate.”

The attack, Schumer said, “didn’t come out of the blue, it was not an act of God, it was not something that came from foreign soil … Jan. 6 was an attempt to reverse, through violent means, the outcome of a free and fair election. An insurrection — call it what it is. What it was.”

One of Trump’s former press secretaries said this week that he was so pleased with coverage of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol a year ago that he “gleefully” and repeatedly viewed footage of it from the White House.

“He was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV as he often did,” Stephanie Grisham — who served in various roles for four years in the Trump White House, including as a spokesperson and chief of staff for former First Lady Melania Trump — told CNN Thursday during an interview on New Day.

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Grisham added that Trump would say, “‘Look at all the people fighting for me,’ hitting rewind, watching it again.”

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and claimed criticism of his actions is politically motivated.

A House of Representatives investigation into the Capitol riots has uncovered that various officials, right-wing media personalities and Trump’s own children pleaded with him to act to stop the violence unfolding at the Capitol during the more than three hours that passed before he finally made a statement.