Trump praises Pence for criticism of Jan. 6 coverage
Former President Trump on Wednesday praised former Vice President Mike Pence for seeking to downplay the magnitude of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as a House select committee investigating the insurrection ramps up its activity.
Trump embraced his former vice president after Pence went on Fox News on Monday night to attack the Biden administration and was asked by Sean Hannity about his relationship with Trump.
“I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration, and we’ve talked a number of times since we both left office,” Pence said, arguing the focus should be on the future.
“I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda by focusing on one day in January,” Pence said. “They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.”
Pence was referring to the pro-Trump mobs that stormed the Capitol, injuring law enforcement and seeking to stop the certification of President Biden’s Electoral College win. Some in the crowd chanted for Pence to be hanged after he said he would not reject the results.
Trump, who has continued to push false and debunked claims of election fraud in the eight months since he left office, seized on Pence’s comments to attack the House select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“Vice President Mike Pence’s statement during his interview with the great Sean Hannity very much destroys and discredits the Unselect Committees Witch Hunt on the events of January 6th,” Trump said in a statement. “It will continue anyways, however, because the Fake News doesn’t want to focus on Afghanistan, Russia, Taiwan and China, the Border, inflation, and a failing economy.”
Trump’s statement was one of three he issued on Wednesday morning questioning the election results or attacking the select committee.
“The Unselect Committee of partisan Democrats, and two very weak and pathetic RINOs, should come to the conclusion after spending many millions of dollars, that the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the Presidential Election, not on January 6th—which was a day of protesting the Fake Election results,” Trump said in a separate statement, using an acronym for “Republicans in name only.”
A third statement baselessly claimed the U.S. could go to war with China because of the Biden administration’s policies and its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Trump’s embrace of Pence is notable given the way the former president excoriated his former vice president for refusing to reject the election results. Both men are believed to be considering presidential bids in 2024. Pence has been giving speeches at conservative events, while Trump has held rallies in recent weeks and will hold another one in Iowa this weekend.
Trump’s latest statement seeking to undermine confidence in the election comes as the Jan. 6 select committee ramps up its investigation. The committee released 11 new subpoenas last week, targeting the spokesperson for Trump’s campaign and a host of other individuals involved in planning the rally where he spoke shortly before his supporters attacked the Capitol.
The committee had previously issued subpoenas to former Trump aides like ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.