Mike Pence admits he was ‘angered’ by Trump tweet as rioters stormed Capitol around him

Former vice-president called Trump’s ‘words and tweets that day reckless’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 17 November 2022 06:01 GMT
Mike Pence admits he was ‘angered’ by Trump's Jan 6 tweet

Speaking at a CNN town hall, former vice-president Mike Pence admitted he was “angered” by a provocative tweet aimed at him by Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, as rioters – some of them chanting “Hang Mike Pence” – descended on the Capitol.

Mr Pence told Jake Tapper that he would not support Mr Trump’s fresh bid for the White House, saying he believed the US wanted “leadership to unite” the country.

He said Mr Trump’s “words and tweets that day were reckless” and endangered him and his family.

He was asked how he felt when he saw images of nooses and “hang Mike Pence” signs on January 6.

“It saddens me, but that day it angered me. I must tell you when the Secret Service took us down to the loading dock accompanied by my wife and daughter, I was determined to stay at my post and told the Secret Service I was not leaving the capitol.

“But frankly when I saw those images and read a tweet that President Trump issued saying that I lacked courage in that moment it angered me greatly, but to be honest I didn’t have time for it. The president had decided in that moment to be part of the problem and I had decided to be part of the solution.”

And he added: “The people who rioted at the Capitol are responsible for what they did and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Tapper said that Mr Pence should “still be livid” at the actions of his former boss on that day.

“The president’s words and tweets that day were reckless and endangered my family and all the people at the Capitol and I was angry.”

And he added: “To be honest with you I am as human as the next guy and I still pray for the president and for the Grace to forgive him and everyone responsible for that terrible day.”

Former vice-president Mike Pence at CNN town hall event in New York
Former vice-president Mike Pence at CNN town hall event in New York (CNN)

Mr Pence told Tapper that he did not know what was going on at The White House on January 6 and that he did not speak to Mr Trump for five days after the attack.

He said he eventually met Mr Trump in the Oval Office dining room after Ivanka Trump asked him to meet her father.

“The president looked up at me and asked if Karen and Charlotte were okay, and I said tersely, ‘They are fine Mr president’ he said ‘Were you scared?’ and I said no I was angry. I was angry about the differences we had and seeing those people ransack the Capitol infuriated me.

“I sensed the president was deeply remorseful in that moment ... I want to tell you that was true and that he was saddened by what had happened.”

During the town hall even in New York, Mr Pence refused to back Mr Trump’s third bid for the White House, which he announced the day before.

“The other thing I’ve heard consistently is that the American people are looking for new leadership, leadership that will unite our country around our highest ideals, and that will reflect the civility and respect that most Americans have for one another,” he said.

“Once you get out of politics you find that while our politics is divided the American people get along pretty well.

“I think in the days ahead, whatever role I and my family play in the Republican Party, I think we will have better choices than my old running mate. I think it is time for new leadership in this country that will bring us back to our highest ideals.”

Mr Pence also admitted that “our administration did not end well.”

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