Former Vice President Mike Pence said continued rhetoric by former President Trump related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol is the reason the two split despite leaving Washington after their first term “amicably.”
“Despite the fact that the president and I actually parted amicably when we left the White House on January 20th,” Pence said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” “And spoke several times in the weeks that followed that. After I saw him return to that type of rhetoric in the spring of 2021, we’ve just gone our separate ways.”
Pence has increasingly split with Trump in recent months, as the former vice president is anticipated to run for a 2024 White House bid. As Pence has spent time in early primary states like Iowa, he has taken aim at Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riots and for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
“I know we did our duty that day,” Pence said. “I know the president continues to have a strong difference of opinion about my responsibilities that day… We all face the judgment of history and I believe in the fullness of time that history will hold Donald Trump accountable for the events of Jan. 6.”
But as Pence dings Trump for the events surrounding the 2020 election, he also has refused to testify in front of the federal special prosecutor that is investigating the former president and his actions on Jan. 6. But Pence signaled in the interview with ABC that he may be willing to testify in front of the grand jury on other issues related to Jan. 6, just not his actions as president of the Senate.
“We simply don’t want an executive branch to be able to haul legislators into court every time that there’s a policy dispute. And so I’ve directed my attorneys to make a strong case in defense of my role as president of the Senate,” Pence said. “We’re not asserting executive privilege, which may encompass other discussions.”
The divisions between Pence and Trump come as the former president said over the weekend on social media that he expects to be arrested by Tuesday in connection to a New York investigation that is probing hush money payments to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump called on his supporters to protest the potential arrest.
Pence defended Trump over that matter, saying the arrest would be a “politically motivated prosecution.”