In a wide-ranging town hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday, Pence discussed his contentious relationship with Trump, particularly in the final days of the administration, and his plans for the future. Pence portrayed himself as the voice of reason during the Trump administration’s closing days, adding that he was close friends with Trump up until the Jan. 6 riot. During and following the riot, however, their relationship turned sour, and Pence said it took much effort to forgive the president for his actions during the Capitol riot.
Pence said that in the Christian faith, forgiveness is “not optional” and that “I pray for the grace to forgive Trump and those responsible for” Jan. 6. He reiterated previous comments that he believes Trump’s words and actions that day were “reckless” and put him and his family in danger.
He also described meetings he had with Trump in the days after the riot, saying that by his speech and body language, he fully believes that the president was “deeply saddened” by the riot. In their last encounter, he told Trump repeatedly that he was praying for him, Pence said. The two have since gone their separate ways, he concluded.
Tapper asked the former vice president whether or not he would commit to supporting Trump in 2024, to which Pence wouldn’t do.
“There may be someone else in that contest I’d prefer more, Jake,” Pence replied, potentially hinting at his own run.
When pressed as to whether he would run in 2024, Pence said that he and his family would take the time around Christmas to carefully deliberate and pray over the decision.