Speaking to an audience of reporters at the Gridiron Dinner on Saturday, Pence said, “Trump was wrong, and in saying I could have prevented the outcome of the election, he was putting my family in danger.”
Pence himself was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, where, as vice president, it was his ceremonial duty to approve votes cast by the Electoral Commission. And those votes confirmed the validity of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president.
The biggest loser in the election was Donald Trump. He refused to accept this and invited his supporters to come to Washington. In one tweet, he told Republicans to “fight” the election results, and in other tweets he falsely asserted that voter fraud had taken place.
He also criticized his vice president, Pence, at the time, as he did not want to derail the outcome. This sparked an anti-Pence mood among the rioters. During the break-in, a rope was taken and it was said that Pence should be hung up. Then Pence had to be moved to safety.
The height of shame
He still blames Trump for that. President Trump was wrong. I do not have the right to nullify the election results. His reckless words endangered my family, and everyone in the Capitol that day. I know that history will hold Donald Trump responsible.”
“What happened that day was a disgrace. It violates all rules of decency if you claim it is not. As long as I live I will never diminish the injuries, the loss of life, or the heroism of law enforcement officers on that tragic day.”
Since their election defeat, Pence has largely refrained from speaking critically of what happened at the time. He also refused to cooperate with the House investigation into the events, arguing that the investigation was primarily Democratic-led and therefore partisan.
In recent months he has spoken of “January 6” often, including in interviews and in his memoirs that appeared in November, but his tone has never been so harsh as on Saturday.
Observers suspect that the heavy blow has anything to do with the fact that Pence wants to run for president in 2024. One of his biggest opponents for the Republican nomination is Donald Trump. The Trump camp has not yet responded to Pence’s criticism on Sunday.
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