Pence made the comments in an upcoming interview with ABC’s World News Tonight, snippets of which were released on Sunday. Anchor David Muir referenced the former president’s tweet as violent protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, accusing Pence of not having the “courage to do what he should have done” with regard to certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Congress in his capacity as president of the Senate.
Both men were then silent as Pence collected his thoughts, eventually replying: “It angered me, but I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby, and I said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law.’ The president’s words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem.”
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” he added.
The interview comes days before the release of Pence’s memoir, So Help Me God, in which the former vice president details the deterioration of his relationship with Trump. Excerpts from the book published by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times show Pence recounting his conversations with Trump and his election lawyers shortly after the 2020 election and the chaotic months that followed. The insights are Pence’s most revealing to date on what he experienced in the final months of the Trump administration.
Pence has largely avoided discussing what occurred between him and Trump, instead quietly keeping his distance. Their feud occasionally re-emerged in the news cycle this year, when the two would endorse opposing candidates in GOP primaries. The primary contests both served as a litmus test for Trump and Pence’s respective holds on the GOP and highlighted the divisions that developed between them.
His conservative bona fides and break-up with Trump have sparked speculation that Pence would launch a 2024 bid of his own, challenging his former boss in the Republican primary. He has demurred on whether reports that he is considering a presidential bid are true.
Trump, meanwhile, has been far from coy when discussing his 2024 plans. He is planning to announce his next White House bid from his Mar-a-Lago residence on Tuesday, the same day Pence releases his book.