Former Second Lady Karen Pence announced Monday that while she “never” feared for her life on Jan. 6, 2021, she closed the curtains in then-Vice President Mike Pence’s Senate office for fear someone might spot her inside and start shooting.
In an interview with ABC News’ Linsey Davis on ‘Good Morning America’Karen Pence, 66, recalled the harrowing moments as she and her husband huddled in the former vice president’s Senate office as rioters stormed the Capitol.
Also with Karen were her daughter and brother-in-law, MP Greg Pence (R-Ind.)
The former second lady said “conditioning” by the Secret Service caused her to close the curtains in Mike Pence’s office minutes after her evacuation from the Senate.
“Every time we traveled, they had bulletproof travel glass in every hotel room. So it’s a conditioning thing that I just knew. “If you’re in a situation where someone could shoot through the window, just draw the curtains,” Karen Pence said. “That was my thought at the time: ‘Wait a minute.’ Something’s starting to move out there. Let’s close the curtains.’”
She also recalled that she and her husband rented a house in the Washington DC area during the post-election transition period to the presidency in 2016 and got their first taste of this type of intelligence “conditioning.”
“The Secret Service put block paper all over the windows and you couldn’t even see outside,” Karen Pence recalled.
Mike Pence, a Republican presidential nominee for the primary, has criticized former President Donald Trump for his actions leading up to the riots and accused his rival in 2024 of being “reckless” and endangering his family.
“The president’s words were reckless and his actions were reckless,” the 64-year-old former vice president told ABC’s David Muir in November.
“The President’s words that day at the rally put me, my family and everyone in the Capitol at risk,” he added.
Despite the curtains being drawn, Karen Pence said she was never afraid during the riot.
“I was just discussing this with someone here in Iowa a few minutes ago, I was never scared,” the former second lady said.
“I really felt that we had so much peace and the presence of God,” she said. “And just a sense of purpose and determination, I don’t think any of us in the whole group – all of the staff and everyone with us – I don’t think any of us were afraid. I think we had a sense of determination.”
Earlier this month, Trump, 77, surrendered to law enforcement and pleaded not guilty to a four-tier Justice Department indictment alleging he disrupted the peaceful transfer of power by making “knowingly false” voter fraud allegations used in the escalation culminated in the US Capitol Building by hundreds of his supporters on January 6, 2021.