Former Vice President Mike Pence told ABC News that former President Donald Trump’s “reckless” rhetoric on January 6 “endangered” him [Pence] and his family.
The former vice president made the comments as ABC News’ David Muir read a previous Trump tweet accusing Pence of not having “the courage” to halt the certification of the electoral college votes. The first piece of the interview came out Sunday, and more will be released Monday.
“It angered me,” Pence said. “But 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. The president’s words were reckless. He decided to be a part of the problem.”
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” he continued.
Pence oversaw the certification of the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021, on the Senate floor. A large crowd marched to the Capitol following a speech from Trump at the “Stop the Steal” rally, where a riot and breach of the building broke out. During the riot, Pence and lawmakers evacuated into lockdown. (RELATED: ‘Mike Committed Political Suicide’: Trump Says Pence Won’t Be His Running Mate In 2024)
Rioters chanted with calls to “hang Mike Pence” in front of the Capitol as the former president targeted him for interfering in the process of certifying the votes. Trump repeatedly claimed, falsely, that Pence had the power to overturn the election results. Only Congress, not the vice president, is granted the power to object to state electors’ votes under the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
Pence later defended his actions saying he is “proud” of fulfilling his duty “under the Constitution and the laws of the United States” during a Jun. 25, 2021, speech in front of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
“The truth is, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” Pence said.