Pence says continued Jan. 6 rhetoric is the reason he and Trump have “gone separate ways.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence said former President Trump’s continued rhetoric related to the Jan. 6, 2021 riot in the Capitol was the reason the two split, despite leaving Washington “amicably” after their first term.
“Despite the fact that the President and I actually broke up amicably when we left the White House on Jan. 20,” Pence said in an interview with ABC’s This Week. “And spoke several times over the following weeks. After seeing him return to that style of rhetoric in the spring of 2021, we just went our separate ways.”
Pence has increasingly split from Trump in recent months as the former vice president is expected to run for the White House in 2024. Having spent time in early primary states like Iowa, Pence has targeted Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riots and for his efforts to overthrow the 2020 election.
“I know we did our duty that day,” Pence said. “I know that to this day the President continues to have a strong disagreement about my responsibility… We all stand before the judgment of history, and I believe history will long hold Donald Trump accountable for the events of January 6.” .”
But as Pence charges Trump over events surrounding the 2020 election, he has also declined to testify before the federal special prosecutor investigating the former president and his actions on Jan. 6. But Pence signaled in the ABC interview that he may be willing to testify before the grand jury on any other issue related to Jan. 6, just not his actions as Senate President.
“We just don’t want an executive branch to be able to take lawmakers to court every time there’s a political dispute. And that’s why I’ve instructed my attorneys to convincingly defend my role as President of the Senate,” Pence said. “We claim no executive privileges, which may include other discussions.”
The divisions between Pence and Trump come as the former president said on social media over the weekend that he expects to be arrested by Tuesday in connection with a New York probe investigating hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump called on his supporters to protest the possible arrest.
Pence defended Trump on the matter, saying the arrest was a “politically motivated prosecution.”
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