Former Vice President Mike Pence said in a new interview that former President Trump’s tweet during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot attacking Pence was “reckless.”
“It angered me,” Pence told ABC’s David Muir. “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.’ ”
“And the president’s words were reckless. It’s clear he decided to be part of the problem,” Pence added.
Pence’s remark came after Muir read Trump’s 2:24 p.m. tweet on Jan. 6 as rioters were storming the Capitol, with some threatening Pence. The tweet began, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
Since leaving the White House, Pence has drifted away from Trump and urged Republicans to focus on the future and not the past, a veiled swipe at Trump’s preoccupation with false claims the 2020 election was stolen.
The former vice president is participating in a range of media appearances ahead of the release of his new memoir, “So Help Me God,” on Tuesday.
The full ABC interview will air later Monday. Pence will also join CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday evening for a televised town hall and sit down with CBS’s Margaret Brennan for an interview that airs on “Face the Nation” this Sunday.
The memoir’s release comes the same day as Trump is scheduled to hold a “special announcement” at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, which is widely expected to launch Trump’s rumored 2024 White House bid.
Pence is also seen as a potential presidential contender, and he has visited the early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.
He released a “freedom agenda” earlier this year for Republicans in advance of the midterms as he weighed his presidential ambitions.
During an event at Georgetown University last month, Pence, when asked if he would vote for Trump in 2024, said “there might be somebody else I prefer more.”
“All my focus has been on the midterm elections, and it’ll stay that way for the next 20 days. But after that, we’ll be thinking about the future,” Pence said at the event.