Former Vice President Mike Pence was pressed in a recent interview about his relationship with former President Donald Trump. Pence admitted that he and Trump no longer speak regularly, and in fact haven’t spoke much at all in the last year, following the pro-Trump riots that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and attempted insurrection on January 6, 2021, while Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress.
Still, he claims that when their administration ended in embarrassment, the two “parted amicably.”
On FOX News, Jesse Watters — host of the new primetime program Jesse Watters Primetime — asked Pence, “When was the last time you talked to President Trump? You guys good?”
“You know, we talked last summer,” Pence responded. “I’ve said many times, it was difficult, January 6 was difficult. It was a tragic day in the life of the nation. I know I did my duty under the constitution of the United States, but the president and I sat down in the days that followed that, we spoke about it, talked through it, we parted amicably.”
— Jesse Watters Primetime (@jesseprimetime) January 28, 2022
Unsurprisingly, this goes against previous statements Pence has made about his relationship with Trump, which he played up in the months immediately after leaving the White House. “You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office,” Pence told a crowd in June.
“We’ve spoken probably a dozen times since the inauguration,” he said in September. “I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration, and we’ve talked a number of times since we both left office,” he said on Fox News in October.
Trump notably refused to condemn the rioters or the breach of the Capitol in the immediacy of January 6, and maintains that the 2020 election — which many Trump supporters sought to stop Pence and members of Congress from certifying — was “stolen.” Chants of “Hang Mike Pence” were going as rioters got within feet of the Vice President.
Hours before the electoral college certification, Trump had a call with Pence to try to persuade him to abandon his duty and attempt to overturn the election results.
“You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Trump told Pence, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”
Trump has since made it clear that he believes Pence should have overturned Biden’s victory that day in the Senate. In an interview in October, Trump shrugged off rioters’ actions to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, saying, “Well, the people were very angry,” and their response was “common sense.”
“I think Mike has been very badly hurt by what took place in respect to January 6,” Trump said in December. “I think he’s been mortally wounded, frankly, because I see the reaction he’s getting from people.”
Before becoming Trump’s lap dog-turned-punching bag, Pence was the governor of Indiana and a Congressman known for his fierce opposition to LGBTQ rights and failed management of an HIV outbreak in the Hoosier state under his tutelage.
Pence has a long history of associating with religious right organizations that promote far-right ideology and was hired by the Heritage Foundation, an anti-LGBTQ think tank. The organization had a huge presence in the Trump administration, manipulating policies from the behind-the-scenes.
Pence is believed to be a candidate for the 2024 GOP nomination for President, but that is complicated as Trump has not ruled out running himself. In addition to his remaining favorability with much of the Republican Party, he has openly considered other vice presidential candidates, and politicos believe Pence would not be in consideration for either role if Trump runs or has a say in who is chosen.
If evidence of his lack of influence was needed, many conservatives condemned Watters for “fluffing” him in his first week hosting in primetime.
Can't tell you how BAD your decision to have Mike Pence on your show was!!!
Really bad! Especially since your show is so NEW and so far, it's just ok. pic.twitter.com/Nncxdl1mE2
— Grace Ann 🇺🇸🐾 (@MyDogsArePissed) January 28, 2022
Mike Pence on Jesse Waters new show. Bad move for Fox News and poor Jesse waters he’s such a nice guy…👎🏻
— MVC (@revracman) January 28, 2022
If for once Fox actually cared about the issue instead of weaponizing factoids to create outrage, well, it might be worth the read. Until then…
— Colorado Rick (@ColoradoRick1) January 28, 2022
Fox News is now fluffing up Mike Pence for a 2024 run.
— Oligarch Kabuki 🐻 (@HouseCracka) January 28, 2022