Mike Pence has accused Donald Trump of endangering “me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” on Jan. 6. Speaking to ABC’s David Muir about his upcoming memoir So Help Me God, the former vice president added that on the day of the Capitol riot, “the president’s words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem.”
The former president held Pence largely responsible for the failure of his illegal plans to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. In a March interview, Trump hinted that Pence’s refusal to participate in a coup on his behalf and stop the transfer of power was the reason he would not bring him back as his vice president.
The Jan. 6 committee dedicated a significant portion of time to laying out the manner in which Trump’s statements about Pence escalated the violence, including that Trump had revised a draft of his speech at the Ellipse to include more criticism of Pence. In June, the committee released testimony alleging that Trump told advisers on Jan. 6 that Pence deserved to be hanged.
According to a national security chat log released by the committee, describing the evacuation of Pence from the Capitol, Trump’s tweet accusing Pence of not having “the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution” coincided with Secret Service agents reporting hearing explosions in the Capitol Rotunda. The crowd attacking the Capitol allegedly surged violently after the tweet was sent.
The rioters came mere feet away from where Pence had been hiding. Pence told Muir that the tweet from the president on that day “angered” him. Amidst the chaos, Pence allegedly turned to his daughter and told her: “It doesn’t take courage to break the law. It takes courage to uphold the law.”
Despite it all, Pence still refuses to commit to opposing Trump’s near certain bid for reelection.