Five days after the attacks on the Capitol, where some rioters chanted that they wanted to kill Mike Pence, the then-president and vice-president had long a meeting in the Oval Office to patch things over.
Insiders told the Washington Post that meeting was “stilted and uncomfortable,” and Jared Kushner, who had helped arrange the conversation along with Ivanka Trump, compared it to brokering peace in the Middle East.
Mr Trump had privately and publicly pressured Mr Pence to overturn the election results, even though he was told repeatedly he didn’t have the power to do so in his ceremonial role certifying the votes in Congress.
In his speech before his supporters attacked the Capitol, Mr Trump urged the vice-president to do so anyway. However, Mr Pence reportedly is still loyal to the president.
“Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country,” Mr Trump said prior to the riot. “And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories.”
As the crowd descended on the Capitol, some chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”, impeachment prosecutor Stacey Plaskett said during the Senate trial this week.
“The mob was looking for Mr Pence because of his patriotism, because the vice president had refused to do what the president demanded and overturn the election result,” she added.
The president may have known the vice president was in danger but reportedly didn’t call him to check on his well-being. During the attack, the president spoke with Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville, who reportedly told him, “Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go.”
Eleven minutes later, the former president reiterated his attacks on Mr Pence, tweeting,“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
Despite the slights, Mr Pence has thus far avoided condemning the president in public. In private, he also reportedly blames those surrounding Mr Trump, who fed him false information about a stolen election, for escalating the situation, according to Pence allies who spoke with the Post.
While Mr Trump has dismissed efforts to get him to testify under oath during the Senate impeachment trial, prosecutors could still call on Mr Pence to do so.
Until then, the former Indiana governor has been keeping a low profile as he mulls his political future, which some have speculated could include a 2024 president run.
After the attacks on the Capitol, he and Mr Trump spoke a few times, and after their term ended, Mr Pence vacationed in the US Virgin Islands and announced plans to launch a podcast.
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