GOP senator says he’s never seen Pence so angry amid Trump calls to block election certification
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) earlier this week said that he had “never seen” Vice President Pence as angry as he had been while President Trump called on him to block the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election in Congress.
Trump repeatedly called on Pence to push for blocking the results of the election prior to a riot at the Capitol and Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory early Thursday.
Pence on Wednesday had issued a letter to lawmakers confirming that he did not believe he had the “unilateral authority” to reject electoral votes in the race for the White House.
Inhofe told Tulsa World on Tuesday, before the riots, that he’s “known Mike Pence forever” and that he’s “never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
“I had a long conversation with him,” Inhofe told the outlet. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for [Trump].’ ”
While those comments came before the mob descended on the Capitol on Wednesday while a joint session of Congress met to certify the votes, Inhofe added to Tulsa World on Wednesday that he believed Trump “should have shown more disdain for the rioters” who swarmed the building calling on lawmakers not to certify the election results.
“I don’t want to say he should have apologized — that’s not exactly accurate — but he should have expressed more disdain,” Inhofe said of the president.
Trump on Wednesday urged his supporters in the Capitol to “go home in peace” hours after the mob broke out. In a one-minute taped video, Trump told his supporters, “We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”
He also reiterated false claims that there was widespread fraud in the election, and the video did not explicitly condemn the violence that had erupted.
Inhofe told Tulsa World that there were “at least 1,000 people in the building” amid the riot. He added that he never felt that he was in danger during the event, but he saw on television that one of the rioters rifled through his desk.
The Oklahoma Republican added that he has received “threats” over his decision not to challenge the Electoral College vote in Congress.
Four people died on Wednesday in connection with the chaos on Capitol Hill, including one woman who was shot and killed by Capitol Police and three others who died after suffering “separate medical emergencies.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.