Trump told Pence he could be a 'patriot' or 'p----' when overseeing election vote: report

President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE told Vice President Pence he had a choice between being remembered by history “as a patriot … or as a p----” while attempting to pressure him to overturn the results of the presidential election, according to a report from The New York Times.

Ahead of last week’s joint session of Congress, where lawmakers would eventually certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE as the victor, Trump increasingly became wrongly convinced the vice president had the power to intervene in the counting of the vote.

The two held a series of meetings leading up to Wednesday in which Trump repeatedly attempted to pressure Pence to attempt to override Biden’s victory. “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p----,” Trump said just before Pence headed to the Capitol on Wednesday, according to the Times, citing two people briefed on the conversation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Shortly after Pence arrived at the Capitol and the certification began, a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol, forcing the Secret Service to evacuate Pence and prompting a lockdown of the building. Trump tweeted that Pence had lacked “the courage” to take action as the rioters, some of whom chanted for Pence to be hanged, stormed the Capitol.

The report comes as Pence submitted a letter to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment. Trump and Pence met for the first time in five days at the Oval Office on Monday evening, a meeting sources told the Times was “nonsubstantive” and “stilted.”

“He set Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Will Pence primary Trump — and win? Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary MORE up that day by putting it on his shoulders,” Ryan Streeter, who served an adviser to Pence when he was governor of Indiana, told the Times. “That’s a pretty unprecedented thing in American politics. For a president to throw his own vice president under the bus like that and to encourage his supporters to take him on is something just unconscionable in my mind.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House and Pence’s office for comment.