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Pence says Trump ‘put my family at risk’ on Jan. 6


WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence harshly criticized former President Donald Trump on Saturday for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, driving the wedge between the two men as they prepare to fight for the Republican nomination in next year’s election.

“President Trump was wrong,” Pence said during his remarks at the annual white-tie Gridiron dinner attended by politicians and reporters. “I had no right to void the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone on Capitol Hill that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.

Pence’s remarks were the harshest condemnation yet from the once loyal lieutenant who was often reluctant to confront his former boss. Trump has already declared his candidacy. Pence didn’t, but he set the stage to run.

In the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, Trump pressured Pence to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory as he presided over the results certification ceremony. Pence refused, and when rioters stormed the Capitol, some chanted that they wanted to “hang Mike Pence.”

The House committee that investigated the attack said in its final report that “the President of the United States annoyed a mob that was chasing his own vice president.”

With his remarks, Pence cemented his place in a larger debate within the Republican Party about how to view the attack. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for example, recently provided Tucker Carlson with an archive of Jan. 6 security camera footage, which the Fox News host used to downplay the day’s events and promote theories. of the plot.

“Make no mistake, what happened that day was a disgrace,” Pence said in his remarks to Gridiron Dinner. “And it mocks decency to describe it any other way.”

Trump, meanwhile, continued to spread lies about his election defeat. He even expressed his support for the rioters and said he would consider forgiving them if re-elected.

Speeches at the Gridiron Dinner are usually humorous affairs, where politicians poke fun at each other, and Pence did a lot of that too.

He joked that Trump’s ego was so fragile he wanted his VP to sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ – one of the lines is ‘did you already know you’re my hero ? – during their weekly lunches.

He fired another shot at Trump over classified documents.

“I read that some of these classified documents that they found at Mar-a-Lago were actually stuck in the president’s Bible,” Pence said. “Which proves that he had absolutely no idea they were there.”

Even before dinner was over, Pence was under fire for his jokes about Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, the first openly gay cabinet member in US history.

Pence mentioned that despite the travel issues plaguing Americans, Buttigieg took “maternity leave” after he and her husband adopted newborn twins.

“Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone has postpartum depression,” Pence said. ___

Megerian reported from Wilmington, Delaware.

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