McConnell team raised worries about attack on Biden inauguration, ex-NSA O’Brien told Jan. 6 Committee
Robert O’Brien described urgent calls and messages from Senate allies, including McConnell, urging him not to resign in the final days of Trump’s presidency.
Donald Trump Maybe ready to block Joe Biden’s Nomination, McConnell team.
Two days after supporters of Donald Trump occupied the Capitol Building, then-National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien received a call from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell asking him to do something examine what he heard: retired soldiers. Donald Trump may be ready to block Joe Biden’s nomination.
O’Brien said in the interview, “[He] was concerned because there were reports of retired military personnel who were in love with the president and possibly fixing him.” McConnell’s national security aide, Robert Karem, was also on the phone expressing similar concerns about Navy SEALs, O’Brien said.
O’Brien made the request in evidence to a select committee on January 6 in a new interview published on April 23. He told the committee that he had heard nothing of such concerns from other sources and doubted their veracity. The two men would meet with John Ratcliffe, then Director of National Intelligence. Ultimately, he said those fears were unfounded and acknowledged that they arose during a period of intense anxiety and preparation to secure Biden’s nomination.
“I think we can repel a Chinese attack on Washington that day from the air,” he said.
Yet the extraordinary speech underscored the intense fear and instability that gripped Washington in the two weeks between the Jan. 6 attack and Biden’s inauguration. That fear was revealed in O’Brien’s 210-page statement released Friday.
White House aides for O’Brien, Biden and McConnell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
O’Brien’s testimony shows urgent phone calls and text messages from his colleagues in the Senate, including McConnell, who is not resigning in the final days of Trump’s presidency – calls, news and reflections on his resignation. During the January 6 uprising, Sen. O’Brien noted that Mike Lee (R-Utah) called on him to replace McConnell as speaker.
“Senator McConnell told me and Senator Lee that I had to go back to Washington and I couldn’t resign,” O’Brien said. O’Brien said.
Even more dramatically, O’Brien said he got the same message in two meetings with Biden’s incoming national security adviser, Jack Sullivan, when O’Brien said it mirrored Biden’s own sentiments.
“Jack asked me not to resign and to stay on as national security adviser,” O’Brien testified.
“Did he ask you — or his desire to stay on as the next president’s national security adviser?” he asked. asked an anonymous analyst.