Donald Trump, whose coup attempt on Jan. 6, 2021, put his vice president’s life at risk as a mob of his followers attacked the United States Capitol, blamed Mike Pence for the carnage on Monday because he refused to go through with the plan.
“Had he sent the votes back to the legislators, they wouldn’t have had a problem with Jan. 6,” the former president told reporters on a flight to an Iowa campaign stop. “So in many ways, you can blame him for Jan. 6.”
Pence had no power to send “votes back” to state legislatures while he presided over the ceremonial counting of Electoral College ballots that day. According to Trump White House sources, Trump sought to convince Pence to simply reject the votes from some important states and declare Him the victor of the 2020 election that he had lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump’s fresh statements, which were reported by CBS Political Director Fin Gomez, who was among the reporters on Trump’s jet, come in response to Pence’s remarks on Saturday, in which he stated Trump’s words and actions had nearly killed his family.
“President Trump was wrong,” Pence said in remarks at the annual dinner of the Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
Trump put the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in action days after the Electoral College voted on Dec. 14, 2020, formally giving Biden the presidency, when he instructed his supporters to gather in Washington on the day of congressional certification.
He had spent the weeks following his election loss talking about his reelection being “stolen,” and he had continued to lie about it all throughout December and the first week of January. On Jan. 6, 2021, he promised his followers at a rally outside the White House that he would march with them to the Capitol and that they needed to “fight like hell” to save their country.
Four of his followers were killed that afternoon, and five police officers died in the aftermath. Another 140 officers were injured.
Trump’s acts are now being investigated criminally in Georgia and by the US Department of Justice. Yet, he is seeking the GOP presidential nomination and currently has the leads.
EXCLUSIVE: @DavidMuir asks Mike Pence about calls the former VP made to the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Justice Department and Capitol Police on Jan. 6: “Why wasn’t the president making these calls?”— ABC News (@ABC) November 14, 2022
Pence: “That’d be a good question for him.” https://t.co/CUaA8Nv52k pic.twitter.com/aGQktY6ohQ