Tensions Rise Between Trump, Pence
Tensions are rising between former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence as both men are rumored to be considering a 2024 presidential bid.
Trump aimed at Pence in a pair of statements made this week. On Sunday, Trump criticized Pence’s failure to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying that he “could have overturned the Election” but chose not to.
On Tuesday, Trump said that the House panel should be focusing its efforts, in part, on “why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!”
Multiple former Pence aides have cooperated with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, which is thought to be a contributing factor to animosity between the Pence and Trump camps.
Pence addressed Trump’s claims during a speech at an event for the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said.
“There are those in our party who believe that, as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, that I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes.”
“The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone,” he continued.
“And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
Meanwhile, Pence is considered to be positioning himself for a presidential run, holding events in early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina since leaving office.
But strategists say that Pence’s actions on Jan. 6, which Trump and many of his supporters see as a betrayal, could be his undoing.
“He has to appeal to the Trump wing of the party because they’re rabid and without them he can’t proceed forward, but they won’t think he’s loyal,” a former Trump administration official said.
“But he also has to appeal to another larger segment of the Republican Party that kind of wants to move beyond Trump and move to a different phase. Trying to bridge both sides of that divide can end up tanking a person’s chances.”