Mike Pence says Trump’s January. 6 acts ‘reckless’ in ABC interview


Former Vice President Mike Pence said Donald Trump’s remarks on Jan. 1. The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 was “reckless” and the former president’s actions “endangered” members of the Pence family and those trapped in the building that day.

“I mean, what the president said was reckless,” Pence said in a preview segment of the interview on ABC’s “World News Tonight” published Sunday. “Obviously he decided to be part of the problem.”

Pence was referring to Trump’s tweets as the insurrection was going on, about Pence’s refusal to reject the 2020 election results. The tweet said Pence “didn’t have the guts to do what was supposed to be done.” Days earlier, Trump and his allies publicly urged Pence to overturn Trump’s election results, even though the vice president has no legal authority to do so.

Pence told ABC anchor David Muir that he was “outraged” when Trump tweeted.

“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,'” he said.

The former vice president also said Trump and the White House made no effort to contact him as the attack unfolded.

“I never heard from the president or the White House that day,” Pence said.

Pence’s comments to ABC appeared to be some of his strongest yet about Trump and the Capitol riots, as tensions between the two escalated in the final days of the Trump administration. Pence has been mentioned as a possible 2024 presidential candidate.

five people died in Or due to January. The attack on Saturday saw some 140 police officers come under attack as pro-Trump mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol, breaching security barriers and forcing lawmakers and aides to cordon themselves off in offices fearing for their lives Inside. Police rushed other members of Congress, including House and Senate leaders, to safety.

In a surreal scene that rocked America and shocked the world, crowds flooded the Capitol, with many chanting “Stop stealing!” as they echoed Trump’s baseless allegations of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election . Many also chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”

Desperation, anger, destruction: How Americans turned into a mob

A Washington Post investigation of the attack noted a string of failures before, during and after Jan. 1. 6 and how Trump’s social media statements stoked anger and political unrest in the months leading up to the insurrection.

Trump tweeted in December 2021: “Massive protests in Washington DC on January 6th. Get there, it’s going to be crazy!”

The investigation found that Trump received a direct warning of the risks on Jan. 1. 6 But waited 187 minutes before calling on his supporters to go home. Law enforcement also failed to respond urgently to warnings of violence, with first responders battling severe trauma from the attack, the Washington Post study found.

Jan. 6 hearing airs on pro-Trump networks

As the unrest unfolded, Twitter suspended Trump’s account and deleted three of his tweets, which it said incited violence and amplified baseless conspiracy theories about the election. Facebook is not far behind. Both companies later permanently banned Trump from their platforms.

More than 840 suspects were indicted in January. 6 Capitol riots, The Post reported in July citing court documents, case documents and other publicly available information. The House of Representatives impeached Trump on charges of sedition, but the Senate voted to acquit the president after a days-long trial.

Last month, a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks issued subpoenas for testimony and documents from Trump himself, demanding that he testify under oath — a move Trump sought to block. Last week, the former president filed suit against the committee, arguing that the subpoena is invalid because it lacks a “valid legislative purpose.”

The GOP failed to take over the Senate and delivered smaller-than-expected gains in last week’s midterm elections, prompting many Republicans to look beyond Trump to 2024 presidential candidates. Control of the House of Representatives remains undecided.

At the same time, Pence hinted that he might launch his own White House campaign and compete with Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination. Trump is expected to announce his third presidential bid on Tuesday.

“I’d probably prefer someone else,” Pence said last month at Georgetown University when asked whether he would support Trump for president in the 2024 election. “I’ll let everyone know in time.”

Pence’s interview with ABC is scheduled to air in its entirety Monday night.

Jacqueline Alemany and Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report.

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