Former US Vice President, Mike Pence said former President Donald Trump’s words on social media during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol were “reckless” criticizing Trump for being “part of the problem” that day.
Mr. Pence was fiercely loyal in public through the constant controversies that defined the Trump administration, but in the wake of the January 6 riot during which Trump supporters chanted to hang Pence, and he has occasionally criticized his former boss, most notably in February, when he publicly denounced Trump’s election ‘lies.’
Trump said Mr. Pence in his capacity as vice president, had the authority to unilaterally reject Electoral College votes.
But Pence said he had no right to overturn the election and despite being threatened by the Trump supporters who mobbed the capitol building.
Mr. Pence was asked on ABC News about Trump’s tweet during the attack that said Pence didn’t have the “courage” to unilaterally overturn the results.
“It angered me,” Pence told ABC’s David Muir after a long pause.
“But I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby. And I said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law.’ The president’s words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem,” the former vice president continued in one of his strongest rebukes of his former boss to date.
Trump, for his part, has said Pence “very greatly disappointed me” on the day the electoral votes were certified.
Pence has been coy about his plans for 2024. He has long been viewed as a potential aspirant for the Republican presidential nomination, but has not formally declared a bid and would almost certainly face strong opposition from Trump, whose supporters he would need in a primary fight.
Trump is set to announce his 2024 campaign on Tuesday November 15, former adviser Jason Miller said in a podcast appearance.