Trump to Pence on Jan. 6: ‘You don’t have the courage’
Former President Trump, ahead of his Jan. 6 address to supporters gathered at the Ellipse, reportedly told then-Vice President Mike Pence that he didn’t “have the courage” to reject the results of the 2020 election.
In the forthcoming book “I Alone Can Fix It,” an excerpt of which was published by The Washington Post on Thursday, reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker detail the tense moments at the White House in the lead-up to the deadly riot at the Capitol.
The Post reporters wrote that as Trump was going over his planned remarks for the rally protesting the election results, some of those around him “encouraged his fantasy of Pence the hero stepping in to overturn the election.”
Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, who along with Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump were present at the meeting, reportedly told the president that the crowd gathered to hear him speak was “reflecting the will of the people.”
Senior White House officials Stephen Miller, Mark Meadows, Keith Kellogg and Eric Herschmann were also present in the room, according to the book.
Ivanka Trump reportedly grew frustrated with the advice being given to her father and at one point said, “This is not right. It’s not right.”
Former President Trump later called Pence, who was slated to oversee congressional certification of President Biden’s election win, and reportedly told him, “You don’t have the courage to make a hard decision.”
According to the book, Pence had repeatedly attempted to explain that as vice president he did not have the constitutional authority to block the certification of election results, as the president wanted him to do.
While listening to the phone call, Ivanka Trump reportedly said quietly to Kellogg, “Mike Pence is a good man.”
“I know that,” Kellogg responded, according to the book, adding: “Let this ride. Take a deep breath. We’ll come back at it.”
The Hill has reached out to a Trump representative for comment.
The incident is just one of several revealed in the book, set to be released Tuesday, with the authors recounting the internal politics and infighting during former President Trump’s last year in office.
According to excerpts obtained by CNN, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and other top military officials were concerned that former President Trump could stage a coup or take other illegal actions following his election loss.
The former president responded in a statement Thursday, saying, “I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.”
“If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley,” he added.