Former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePences' pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo, dies Pence says both Capitol riot and nixing filibuster are a 'power grab' McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 'illegitimate' Jan. 6 probe MORE said he believes he “did the right thing” when he certified the results of the 2020 presidential election in January, ignoring then-President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE’s repeated requests that he object to the vote.
Pence, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network that is set to air on Thursday, said he knows in his “heart of hearts” he did the right thing on Jan. 6.
He added that despite some concerns he had with the vote, his oath of office required him to protect and defend the Constitution, which he believes he did by going against Trump’s orders and certifying the results.
“On Jan. 6, I said that I believe there were irregularities about which I was concerned, and I wanted them to have a fair hearing before the Congress, but from the founding of this nation forward, it's been well established that elections are to be governed at the state level and that the only role that Congress has is to open and count the electoral votes that are submitted by states across the country, no more, no less than that,” Pence said.
“In January of 2017, I took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States. The Bible says in Psalm 15 that he keeps his oath even when it hurts, and on that day, I could relate to that sentiment, but I wanted to keep my oath to the Constitution. ... I know in my heart of hearts that on that day, we did our duty under the Constitution. ... I know I did the right thing,” he added.
Pence, despite intense lobbying from Trump, certified the 2020 presidential election results during a joint session of Congress in the early hours of Jan. 7, after the vote was delayed several hours because a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in what turned out to be a deadly riot.
After it became clear that Pence would not try to overturn the vote, some protesters outside the Capitol were heard chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
Trump had been pushing Pence to reject the Electoral College vote, contending that the election was riddled with fraud.
The former vice president previously said he was “proud” that he and congressional lawmakers reconvened in the Capitol after the building had been cleared of rioters, adding that they “fulfilled our duty under the Constitution.”
He also said “there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
Pence’s outlook, however, largely differs from that of Trump, who has knocked Pence for not following his requests to reject the results.
Trump reportedly told Pence on the morning of Jan. 6 that the then-vice president did not “have the courage” to reject the results of the election, according to the book “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
Trump, during an interview in March with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl for his book "Betrayal," appeared to justify the protesters chanting, “Hang Mike Pence,” saying, “Well, the people were very angry.”
"It's common sense that you're supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress," Trump added.
Pence in June said he does not know if he and Trump will “ever see eye to eye” when it comes to Jan. 6.
“You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office, and I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day, but I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years,” he said during a speech in Hillsborough County, N.H., which elicited applause.