Former Vice President Mike Pence described how he was “angry” at former President Donald Trump during and after the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, but that in the days after Trump appeared to have reflected on what had occurred and had some regrets.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Pence spoke about the time before, during, and after that day, which he wrote about in detail in his new book, “So Help Me God.”
“The President and I clashed in the days leading up to January 6. I’ll always believe that I did my duty that day, by God’s grace, under the Constitution, and upheld the peaceful transfer of power. But I was angry. I was angry about our difference that day, and I was also angry at what I saw,” Pence told host Shannon Bream.
Pence asserted that despite Trump’s desire for him to reject the election result, Pence insisted that he did not have the power to do that.
“There’s probably no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose who the winner of a presidential election is,” Pence said.
Pence described his feelings toward Trump on January 6 and in the days after. He said he “was angry” when Trump “tweeted an attack on me and on my character” during the Capitol riot.
“It was clear he had decided to be a part of the problem,” Pence said. “I was determined to be part of the solution.”
Pence did make a point to say that the following day, Trump pulled back and moved toward the peaceful transfer of power. He then noted a shift in Trump’s attitude during a private meeting the two had five days after the riot.
“I walked into that back room and the president looked up at me and I sensed he was deeply remorseful about what had happened,” Pence recalled. He said Trump immediately asked how Pence’s family was doing.
“I responded sternly, ‘They’re fine Mr. President,'” Pence said.
The former vice president said Trump asked him if he had been scared on January 6.
“I said no, I was angry. I was angry about our differences and I was infuriated at what I saw that day,” Pence said. “In that moment he seemed genuinely remorseful.”
Besides being remorseful about what Pence went through, Trump appeared to also harbor regrets over the events of that day in general.
“The president lamented what had happened,” Pence recalled. “He said what if we hadn’t had the rally. It’s so terrible to end like this.”
Looking ahead, Pence said Republicans need to keep their eyes on the future and not get bogged down in the past. He said candidates in the midterm elections who did this performed well, and those who focused on re-litigating the 2020 election performed poorly.
“We focus on the future, we’ll do quite well,” Pence said. ” Not just winning elections, but we’ll win a balanced future for the American people.