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Pence says Trump's words on January 6 "endangered me and my family"

Pence may not back Trump in 2024
Mike Pence says he may not vote for Trump in 2024 00:49

Former Vice President Mike Pence revealed in an interview that he feels former President Donald Trump was "reckless" on January 6, 2021, and that the president's words during the insurrection "endangered" Pence, his family and "everyone at the Capitol building" that day.

Pence was in the midst of leading a joint session of Congress when an angry mob broke into the building to try to stop them from counting the 2020 Electoral College votes and affirming Joe Biden as president-elect. 

During a speech to supporters before the attack, Trump urged them to walk to the U.S. Capitol "peacefully" but also exhorted: "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore." 

"The president's words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building," Pence told ABC's David Muir in an interview that aired on Sunday.

Trump insisted Pence had the authority to overturn the election results. But Pence issued a statement on January 6 saying he could not change the outcome. 

After the deadly attack on the Capitol, Pence and members of Congress retuned to finish the certification of the votes.

Muir asked Pence about a tweet Trump sent that day that said, "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done." After a long pause, Pence answered: "It angered me."

"But I turned to my daughter, standing nearby, and I said, 'It doesn't take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law,'" Pence continued. "The president's words were reckless. It's clear he decided to be part of the problem."

Pence has publicly criticized of his former boss several times since that day. In February, while addressing The Federalist Society, a conservative and libertarian legal organization, Pence called January 6 a "dark day," and again said that Trump was wrong in claiming he could overturn the election. 

"The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone," Pence said. "And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person can choose the president." 

At Georgetown University last month, Pence was asked if he would vote for Trump if he runs again in 2024. "There might be somebody else I prefer more," Pence said

Pence also said in August that he would "consider" testifying before the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack, if asked.

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