Trump’s words “endangered” Americans ahead of US Capitol riot, Pence says

Trump’s words “endangered” Americans ahead of US Capitol riot, Pence says


Former President Donald Trump’s inflammatory words before and during last year’s US Capitol riot put Americans at risk, including his own Deputy Mike Pence, the former vice president said in a television interview aired Monday.

“The President’s words that day at the rally (before the riot) put me and my family and everyone in the Capitol in danger,” Pence told ABC News.

Pence is reportedly laying the groundwork for a presidential bid in 2024. It would pit him against his former boss, who summoned the media to his palatial Florida home on Tuesday night to reportedly announce his own candidacy for the White House.

Pence’s interview, which will air on ABC’s World News Tonight, coincides with the release of his memoir So Help Me God on Tuesday.

The veteran Republican told the network that while speaking in a park near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump goaded the crowd before marching to the Capitol: “The president’s words were reckless. It was clear he chose to be part of the problem.”

Pence said he was “upset” when he read a Trump tweet that day in which he claimed the vice president “didn’t have the guts to do what should have been done” to get Trump in office by blocking Congressional confirmation of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

“I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby and said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law. It takes courage to uphold the law,'” Pence told the network.

The vice president was on Capitol Hill at the time, and US Secret Service officials evacuated him from the US Senate chamber, where he narrowly avoided encountering rioters who had burst into the complex.

Pence has largely remained silent about his interactions with Trump in the run-up to the January 6 mob attack – until this month.

In an excerpt of his memoir published by The Wall Street Journal last week, Pence said he spoke to Trump on the phone on New Year’s Day 2021 and communicated his refusal to become involved in a plan to keep Trump in power.

“‘You’re too honest,'” Pence said, Trump told him. “Hundreds of thousands will hate you… People will think you’re stupid.”

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