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Former vice president and potential 2024 GOP presidential primary candidate Mike Pence appeared with Fox News’ Shannon Bream in an exclusive interview on “Fox News Sunday” this week. One issue Pence addressed was the possibility of the Department of Justice calling on him to testify about January 6th, 2021.
As my colleague Bonchie wrote in November, that’s not a point the former VP is likely to cede on–and that’s a move that recently made him an enemy (again) with the lefty media: “And just like that, Mike Pence is bad again,” Bonchie wrote, on his remarks about the January 6th Committee witchhunt’s attacks on his character.
On Sunday, there was no change on Pence’s stance on the topic, mentioning he is still consulting with his legal counsel on any decision. He expanded on his reasoning to demur on testifying, when Bream pressed him on whether the DOJ has formally approached him,:
We’ve come to no resolution on that, and I’ll be speaking to my counsel about that.
There has been some contact, but we will make that decision on the basis of the unique responsibility that I have, under the Constitution of the United States, as a former vice president.
He added that he didn’t agree to speak to the congressional committee, because it “would set a terrible precedent.” (You can watch the full interview with Pence here.)
Pence also was asked about the Republican Party’s red non-wave during the midterms. The former Indiana governor made a point of bringing up his stumping for Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who won his reelection bid handily, in his answer:
Those candidates who focused on solutions and on the future actually did very well.
But candidates who were focused on the past–particularly those that were focused on relitigating the last election–did not do as well. And it convinces me…as I said when I was campaigning for Governor Brian Kemp, which in many ways divided along those lines, I said the Republican Party must be the party of the future.
If we focus on the future, we’ll do quite well. Not just winning elections–we’ll win a boundless future for the American people.
But the majority of Pence’s remarks were about his new book, “So Help Me God,” and the personal reminiscences he had, both on “the days leading up to January 6” and the days that followed, about his relationship with Donald Trump:
“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.
And on Trump’s and some conservatives’ insistence that Pence could have named Trump the winner of the 2020 election, he said, “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.”
— The Hill (@thehill) December 4, 2022
Pence told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream that he had a discussion with Trump five days after Jan. 6, during which the former president “lamented what had happened.”
Pence continued, tellingly including his reminding the president he would keeping praying for him:
But when they talked privately days after the Jan. 6 riots, Pence said Trump appeared to regret how the events unfolded.
“He said, ‘What if we hadn’t had the rallies that are so terrible, end like this?’” Pence recalled. “I told him I was praying for him. In the first meeting he didn’t respond.”
“But when we were together a few days later … I reminded him again that I was praying for him,” he added, explaining they had reached an understanding in that moment.
One light – and perhaps revealing – moment into the former vice president’s thinking about his “former boss” came when Bream asked him if it could possibly be “Pence/Trump” in the 2024 general election. While responding to the assertion that “anything can happen” in elections, Pence just shook his head and gave a soft chuckle.