Pence Says Trump ‘Endangered’ His Life and He’s Very Sad They Aren’t Friends Anymore

“The president’s words were reckless,” Pence told ABC News about Trump’s tweets during the Capitol riot.
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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence give a thumbs up after speaking on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on August 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.(Chris Carlson-Pool/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Mike Pence said former President Donald Trump’s tweets during the Capitol riot “endangered me and my family” in an ABC News interview Monday, but refused to say whether he thinks Trump should be president again. 

Pence also said that he and Trump once had a “relationship built on mutual respect” in an interview with Sean Hannity, which aired on Monday as well. 

Pence’s ABC interview featured some of his strongest condemnations of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 since they left office, as Trump gears up to make another run for the presidency. But Pence has hinted that he’s planning on a run as well, and the more tepid interview with Fox was a reminder that making a bid for the Republican nomination will likely require a certain level of fealty to the former president.  

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“The president’s words were reckless,” Pence told ABC News. Trump tweeted during the Capitol riot that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done”—just minutes after the Secret Service had ushered the Vice President out of the Senate chamber. 

“It angered me. But I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby and said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law, it takes courage to obey the law.’”

Pence also said he fought attempts by the Secret Service to escort him out of the building. “I just didn’t want those rioters to see the Vice President’s motorcade speeding away from the Capitol. I didn’t want to give them that satisfaction,” Pence told ABC News.

When asked if Trump “should ever be president again,” Pence said, “I think that’s up to the American people, but I think we’ll have better choices.” Of a presidential run himself, Pence said he was “giving it consideration.”

Pence also spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night, and said he’d had a “strong, close working relationship that was built on mutual respect” with the man who he says endangered his life.

“He was not just my president, he was my friend.”

Pence said that after the two left office, he “parted amicably” with the man whose devotees chanted “Hang Mike Pence” on Jan. 6.

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“Last fall, when we got together, we parted amicably, and we spoke a number of times after I left office,” Pence told Fox News. “But frankly, when the President returned to some of the rhetoric about me and others who had taken a stand for the Constitution, I thought it was best that we just go our separate ways.”

Pence told Hannity he was proud of his work in the administration, which he writes about in the book. “The greatest accomplishment was three Supreme Court Justices, [and] making our liberties more secure,” Pence said of Trump appointees who went on to strike down the right to an abortion and shred the rights of criminal defendants

“Our administration didn’t end well,” Pence said, “but writing about those four years is what [the book] is principally all about, and my heart’s desire is it gives people hope and encouragement that what we did before we can do again.”

Trump, who attempted to overturn the 2020 election, was also impeached twice and has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by more than two dozen women. He is expected to announce a third bid for the presidency at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday. A Politico/Morning Consult poll of a hypothetical GOP presidential primary in 2024 released Tuesday found Trump with 47 percent support, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 33 percent, and Pence with 5 percent.

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