Administration

Trump signals Pence not likely to be his 2024 running mate if he runs

Former President Trump appeared to suggest in an interview that former Vice President Mike Pence would not be his 2024 running mate if Trump opts to seek a second term again.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, Trump said of Pence running alongside him: “I don’t think the people would accept it.”

Trump said that he was “disappointed in Mike” after Pence refused to contest the 2020 presidential election results during Congress’s official count of Electoral College votes, which Trump pressured him to do.

“Mike thought he was going to be a human conveyor belt, that no matter how fraudulent the votes, you have to send them up to the Old Crow,” the former president told the Examiner, using a nickname he has for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“But that turned out to be wrong. Because now, as you know, they are feverishly working to try and get it so that the vice president cannot do what Mike said he couldn’t do,” Trump said.

Trump appeared to be referring to attempts by lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reform an 1887 election law that details how Electoral College votes are counted by Congress. The vice president oversees that count, which has historically been considered a ceremonious formality.

Lawmakers cite the mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to stop the count as a reason to reform the law to make it clear that the vice president cannot change certified Electoral College results.

Pence broke with Trump during a Federalist Society event last month where he said that Trump’s assertion that Pence had a right to contest the election results was “wrong.”

“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

Further illustrating the growing divide, Pence told Republican National Committee donors earlier this month that “There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin” after Trump praised Putin as a “genius” and “pretty savvy” amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

Trump told the Examiner the two men had a “great relationship” and added that Pence was a “really fine person,” but the former president’s remarks also indicated a possible fracture.

“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship,” the former president told the news outlet. “I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”

Pence is among the contenders who is considering a run for president in 2024. Though Trump has consistently teased he may run again, he has not formally declared his candidacy. 

The Hill has reached out to a Pence spokesperson for comment.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Donald Trump Mike Pence Mike Pence Mitch McConnell

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