Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump criticized him for being “too honest” and warned that “thousands are gonna hate your guts” in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In the piece published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Pence said Trump made the remarks on New Year’s Day 2021 after Pence refused to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
In the meeting, Pence said he was not going to support a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert to grant the vice president “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to decide which electoral votes to count.
“I don’t want to see ‘Pence Opposes Gohmert Suit’ as a headline this morning,” Trump told Pence five days before the riot at the Capitol, according to the former vice president.
After Trump’s comment, Pence says that he informed the former president that he did oppose the lawsuit, to which Trump reportedly responded, “If it gives you the power … why would you oppose it?”
When Pence explained his legalistic reasoning behind not wanting to reject electors, namely that he didn’t believe that he “possessed that power under the Constitution” to do that, Trump chastised him, according to Pence.
“‘You’re too honest … Hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts … People are gonna think you’re stupid,’” Trump said, berating his number two.
Following that encounter with the president, Pence writes that Trump continued to pressure him to reject electoral votes unilaterally.
“You can be a historic figure … but if you wimp out, you’re just another somebody,” Trump reportedly told Pence on Jan. 2.
And then on Jan. 4, Pence says that he was summoned to the Oval Office for a meeting with legal scholar John Eastman, Trump, and others, during which Eastman argued unconvincingly that Pence could stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
A second similar meeting between Eastman the president and the vice president occurred the following day, and on the morning of Jan. 6, Trump once again called Pence to pressure him to overturn the election results.
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