Former Vice President Mike Pence insisted on Monday night that he “parted amicably” with former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 riot, during which enraged Trump supporters called for Pence to be hanged for not overturning the presidential election results.
Appearing on Trump confidant Sean Hannity’s primetime Fox News program, the ex-veep spent much of his time blasting President Joe Biden over the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and his current agenda and policies.
“I knew it would be bad. We worked our hearts out in that campaign last year. But I didn’t know it would be this bad,” Pence groused, promising Hannity that the GOP would win back the White House in 2024.
In the gentlest possible way, Hannity then brought up Trump’s repeated attempts to pressure Pence to reject the certification of Biden’s electoral victory.
When Pence finally declined to overthrow the election, Trump reportedly exclaimed: “I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.” In a speech months later, Pence said he was “proud” to certify Biden’s election, distancing himself further from the disgraced ex-president. Pence, however, sought to bridge that distance on Monday night.
“I know a lot has been made over the disagreement you had with the president as it relates to Jan. 6,” Hannity wondered aloud. “My sources, my understanding is that you two have a strong relationship to this day. What is your relationship with the president?”
After saying that you can’t spend five years with somebody “without developing a strong relationship,” the former veep acknowledged that Jan. 6 “was a tragic day in the history of our country.”
Additionally, he thanked law enforcement for securing the Capitol after Trump-supporting rioters stormed the building, many of whom were shouting “hang Mike Pence” and “bring out Pence!”
“The president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it,” Pence said. “I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration and we have talked a number of times since we both left office.”
Claiming his attention is now on getting Republicans elected to office, Pence also accused the media of trying “to distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda by focusing on” the Capitol riot.
“They will use that one day to try to 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,” he concluded. “For our part, I truly believe we all ought to remain completely focused on the future. That’s where I’m focused.”