Mar 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Pence: "History will hold Donald Trump accountable" for Jan. 6

Mike Pence

Mike Pence gives remarks at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation’s conference at the Library of Congress on Feb. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence slammed former President Trump during a speech at the annual Gridiron Dinner Saturday night, saying that history would hold the former president accountable for the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: While Pence has criticized Trump's actions during Jan. 6 before, his comments Saturday were his sharpest rebuke to date.

The big picture: Pence told the audience that Trump was "wrong" to suggest he had the right to overturn the results of the 2020 election during the election certification, AP reported.

  • "His reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable," Pence added.

Pence also took aim at right-wing media figures who had downplayed the severity of Jan. 6.

  • "Tourists don't injure 140 police officers by sightseeing. Tourists don't break down doors to get to the speaker of the House," Pence said, CBS News reported.

State of play: Last month, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave Fox News' Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol footage from the Jan. 6 riot, which he began airing last week.

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans slammed Carlson for characterizing the insurrection as "mostly peaceful chaos."
  • Jan. 6 was a "disgrace," Pence told the audience Saturday, adding that "it mocks decency to portray it any other way," per AP.
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