‘Did not end well’: New Pence book details split with Trump
NEW-YORK — In a new memoir, Mike Pence accuses Donald Trump of putting his family at risk and all those who served at the Capitol on Jan. 6. A new memoir was released Tuesday.
In “So Help Me God,” Pence recounts, for the first time in his own words, the Republican former president’s extraordinary effort to push him to overturn the results of the 2020 election and shares his account of the day thousands of rioters stormed the Capitol, with some chanting “Hang Mike Pence. “
“They came to protest the election result and to stop Congress from fulfilling its responsibility of opening and counting the Electoral College votes,” Pence writes. “And, as it turned out, many had come looking .”
” The book, which details Pence’s political career, from his time as a youth coordinator for a local Democratic Party, to watching Al Gore, then-Vice President, certify his election loss just days after Pence was sworn in as a member. It largely defends Trump and glosses over and whitewashes many of his most controversial episodes. The book begins with the statement, “I had always been loyal President Donald Trump.”
But Pence who spent years refusing public criticism of his boss makes it clear that Jan. 6 2021, was a breaking moment in which, he writes that Trump’s “reckless statements had endangered my family as well as all those working at the Capitol. “
” We had a close working relationship for four years. It didn’t end well,” Pence writes as he sums up their time at the White House. He adds that they parted peacefully after their service to the nation ended. We spoke occasionally over the months, but when Trump returned to the same rhetoric he used before that tragic day, and began to publicly criticize those who defended the Constitution’s integrity, I decided it was best to separate our paths. “
The publication of the book by Simon & Schuster comes at a time when Pence seems increasingly likely to run for president in 2024,. This would place him in direct conflict in a move which would put him in direct conflict in Trump’s reelection campaign, which is set to be launched in Florida on Tuesday night.
Pence writes that he believed it was a good idea when Trump suggested holding a rally at Washington on Jan. 6th, the day Pence was to preside over election certification. He writes that his first thought was that a rally on that day might be useful to draw more attention to the proceedings at the Senate and House floors.
Instead of sitting in the Senate chamber, Pence describes presiding over the certification. The Senate parliamentarian leans over to inform him that rioters were breaking into the building. A member of his Secret Service detail rushes over to insist they leave. Pence refused to leave the building. Instead, he was ushered to a Senate loading deck, where he spent hours calling military and congressional leaders to coordinate their response. While the president, who never bothered to check on Pence’s safety, sat in cloistered and watched TV, Pence continued to be present.
” All around was motion and chaos. Security and police officers directed people to safety, while staffers shouted and ran for shelter. I could see the intensity of the Secret Service detail’s eyes; it was also evident in the voices of Capitol Police. Pence wrote that he could hear the footsteps of angry chanting and the falling of footsteps. Pence insists that he was not afraid, but angry at the unfolding events.
At 2: 24 p.m., as Pence remained in hiding, Trump fired off that infamous tweet saying Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
“I just shook my head,” Pence said he responded. “The truth is, as reckless as the tweet was, I didn’t have the time.” Rioters were robbing the Capitol. … The president had made the decision to be part of this problem. I was determined to be part the solution. I ignored the tweet, and went back to work. Pence also described Trump’s campaign to force him to reject the election results by sending back the Electoral College votes to the states or rejecting them. However, the Constitution clearly states that the role of the vice president is ceremonial.
During one lunch on Nov. 16, 2020, Pence said he told Trump that “if the legal challenges came up short and if he was unwilling to concede, he could simply accept the results of the elections, move forward with the transition, and start a political comeback, winning the Senate runoffs in Georgia, the governor’s race in Virginia in 2021, and the House and Senate in 2022.”
“That accomplished, I said, he could run for president in 2024 and win,” Pence writes. “He seemed unmoved, even weary, at the prospect.”
“‘I don’t know, 2024 is so far off,'” Pence writes that Trump told him “before returning to the status of election challenges in various states. Pence stated that he encouraged Trump to not view the election as a loss, but a “just an intermission” and suggested that if he “still came short” after exhausting all legal options, he should “take a bow and later run again.”
“He looked at me as though to say, “That’s worth thinking about,” and walked into the back hall. “I will always wish that he had .”
” Pence writes that Trump became more angry as the lawsuits Trump’s legal team were pushing for failed. Pence says Trump berated him, telling him, “You’re too honest,” and predicting that “hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts” and “people are gonna think you’re stupid.”
“As the days wore on, it was becoming clear that there would be a real cost to me politically when I presided over the certification of the 2020 election,” Pence writes. “I knew from the beginning that I didn’t have the power to overturn the election. It would have been hurtful for my friend to allow me to take part in the certification. But I had to do my duty. “
After the Capitol was cleared from the rioters and reopened, Congress met again and Pence presided over the official certification of Trump’s and his loss. The two men did not speak for several days. Pence stated that they had spent more than 90 hours together when they finally met five days later.
“I told Trump that I had prayed for him over the past four-and-a half years and encouraged him to do so,” Pence said. “Jesus can help,’ I replied. “Call on Him.” He didn’t respond. “
” With genuine sadness in his voice the president thought, “What if we hadn’t had the rally?” What if they hadn’t gone to the Capitol?’ Then he said, ‘It’s too terrible to end like this.'”
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