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Pence reached out to officer who led rioters away from Senate chambers to offer thanks

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Springs Church to campaign for GOP Senate candidates on Jan. 4, 2021, in Milner, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Vice President Mike Pence reached out to Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman late last week to thank him for his efforts during the attack on the US Capitol, a person close to Pence told CNN, but they haven’t connected yet.

Goodman has been hailed as a hero after video emerged of him guiding the violent mob away from the Senate chamber, where Pence had been conducting the ceremonial counting of the 2020 electoral votes on January 6. The source told CNN that Pence will make some final calls Monday and is “hopeful” they’ll connect.

The attempted outreach from Pence is just the latest example of the vice president taking on more of the public-facing role of commander-in-chief as President Donald Trump is holed up in the White House, silenced on social media and refusing to speak to the man who beat him or abandon the baseless election conspiracies that helped incite the rioters. Pence, on the other hand, called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris last week and visited National Guard members guarding the Capitol.

Many in Pence’s orbit remain furious at how Trump behaved the day of the insurrection attempt, which brought rioters within seconds of encountering Pence and members of his family in the hallways outside the Senate chamber.

Footage from the January 6 insurrection captured by Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic shows Goodman being chased up a Capitol staircase by a mob of insurrectionists shortly after they’d broken in. When he reached a landing, he looked to his left, where he noticed the door to the Senate chambers was still unguarded. He then led the rioters to the right, away from lawmakers and toward backup officers.

The Senate chambers wouldn’t be secured until one minute later, according to CNN’s timeline of events from the riot.

As a result, a bipartisan trio of lawmakers wants to recognize Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal for potentially saving lives.

Democratic Reps. Charlie Crist of Florida and Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina introduced legislation last week to award Goodman the medal, reserved for Americans who’ve made “distinguished achievements and contributions” to their country.

“By putting his own life on the line and successfully, single-handedly leading insurrectionists away from the floor of the Senate Chamber, Officer Eugene Goodman performed his duty to protect Congress with distinction, and by his actions, Officer Goodman left an indelible mark on American history,” the legislation reads.

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