Nov 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pence: Trump "decided to be part of the problem" on Jan. 6

Mike Pence speaks during an event

Mike Pence promotes his new book on Oct. 19 in Washington. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President Trump's actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot meant he "decided to be part of the problem," former Vice President Mike Pence told ABC's “World News Tonight” in an interview airing Monday evening.

Why it matters: The interview, coinciding with the release this week of Pence's autobiography, "So Help Me God," is the former vice president's first broadcast-network appearance since the events of Jan. 6.

What they're saying: "That angered me," Pence said of Trump's tweet disparaging him as the riot was underway.

  • "The president's words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem," Pence added.
  • Trump's words at a rally on Jan. 6 before the riot "endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building," Pence added, per ABC News.

ABC's David Muir recalled that, over the course of several hours during the events of Jan. 6, Pence spoke with several officials, including the acting defense secretary, Joint Chiefs chairman Mark Milley and the chief of the Capitol police.

  • "I can't account for what the president was doing that day. I was at a loading dock in the Capitol where a riot was taking place," Pence replied when asked by Muir about learning that Trump had watched the events of the day unfold on television.
  • "That'd be a good question for him," Pence said when asked why Trump wasn't making the calls to officials.

The big picture: While Pence has not confirmed his intention to run for president in 2024, he told The New York Times earlier this year that he's open to running against Trump.

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