‘Historical past will maintain Donald Trump accountable’ for Jan. 6, Pence says

‘Historical past will maintain Donald Trump accountable’ for Jan. 6, Pence says

‘Historical past will maintain Donald Trump accountable’ for Jan. 6, Pence says

By Andrea Shalal, Trevor Hunnicutt and Gram Slattery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence supplied his most forceful rebuke thus far of his one-time boss Donald Trump on Saturday, saying that historical past will maintain him accountable for his position within the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Pence was within the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters breached the constructing in an try to cease Congress from certifying the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump misplaced to Joe Biden.

Because the vp has the constitutional position of Senate president, Pence was presiding over what had at all times been the ceremonial process of approving the votes of the Electoral School to pick out the president and vp.

All through the siege, Trump despatched a number of tweets, one calling on Republicans to “battle” and others making false claims of voter fraud. He additionally criticized Pence for certifying the outcomes.

“President Trump was flawed,” Pence instructed assembled journalists and their visitors on the Gridiron dinner, an annual white-tie occasion in Washington, D.C.

“I had no proper to overturn the election, and his reckless phrases endangered my household and everybody on the Capitol that day, and I do know that historical past will maintain Donald Trump accountable.”

Pence, who’s contemplating a run for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, was whisked to security by legislation enforcement in the course of the assault.

He hardly ever addressed Jan. 6 within the months following the incident, however has since upped his criticism of the rioters and the conduct of his former boss that day.

He has sharply criticized Trump’s conduct in latest media interviews, and in a memoir launched in November, he accused Trump of endangering his household.

Nonetheless, Pence’s feedback on Saturday had been his most pointed thus far.

“What occurred that day was a shame,” he mentioned. “And it mocks decency to painting it every other manner. For so long as I reside, I’ll by no means, ever diminish the accidents sustained, the lives misplaced, or the heroism of legislation enforcement on that tragic day.”

A spokesperson for Trump didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark outdoors enterprise hours.

Pence’s relationship with Trump has been advanced for the reason that two left workplace. He had criticized the previous president’s conduct however avoided probably the most stinging rebukes of Trump. He additionally declined to cooperate with the Home of Representatives committee investigating the Capitol assault, describing the work accomplished by the primarily Democratic physique as partisan.

The previous vp’s feedback on Saturday point out he’s keen to extra forcefully distance himself from Trump because the 2024 marketing campaign heats up – even when which means alienating the hundreds of thousands of Republican voters nonetheless loyal to the previous president.

His remarks got here simply days after conservative tv host Tucker Carlson aired safety footage of the Capitol assault, claiming that lots of the rioters had been “orderly.”

Carlson’s depiction of Jan. 6 was sharply criticized by Democrats and a number of other high-profile Republicans within the Senate, although many different Republicans – notably within the Home – shrugged off the episode.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Enhancing by William Mallard and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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