Former vice president Mike Pence tore into Donald Trump during a Fox News Sunday interview, saying his ex-boss, and likely 2024 primary competitor, was “remorseful” following January 6th.
Pence, who is currently on a book tour and is widely seen as harboring presidential ambitions, also shared that he was personally “angry” following the riot, Fox News reported.
Pence says Trump “remorseful”
The former VP reiterated his claim that he was pressured by Trump, who wanted Pence to decertify the 2020 election, to do something he had no legal power to do.
“I’ll always believe that I did my duty that day, by God’s grace, under the Constitution, and upheld the peaceful transfer of power. But I was angry. I was angry about our difference that day, and I was also angry at what I saw,” Pence said.
Drawing a stark contrast between himself and Trump, Pence said he “was determined to be part of the solution,” while Trump “had decided to be a part of the problem.”
Pence appeared to hold Trump personally liable for the riot, saying that Trump was “remorseful” in its aftermath and questioned staging a protest over the 2020 election near the White House.
“The president lamented what had happened,” Pence said. “He said what if we hadn’t had the rally. It’s so terrible to end like this.”
Pence also said he was “angry” when Trump called him a coward in a tweet during the riot. The former vice president said he relayed his feelings of anger to Trump.
“I said no, I was angry. I was angry about our differences and I was infuriated at what I saw that day,” Pence said. “In that moment he seemed genuinely remorseful.”
Trump was impeached for a second time because of his alleged role in inciting the so-called insurrection. His alleged role in January 6th is also controversially under investigation by the administration of his chief political rival, Joe Biden.
The Biden administration appointed a Special Counsel to continue investigating Trump after he declared he is running for president last month.
Moving on from Trump?
But Pence implied it was time for Republicans to move on from Trump and his claim that the 2020 election was stolen, pointing to the results of the midterm elections, which many Trump critics have cited as proof that Trump is a drag on the party.
“We focus on the future, we’ll do quite well,” Pence said. “Not just winning elections, but we’ll win a balanced future for the American people,” he said.
Trump has floated pardoning January 6th defendants, who Trump says “have been treated unconstitutionally in my opinion and very, very unfairly.”