Washington: Former US President Donald Trump and his then deputy Mike Pence have engaged in a war of attrition over the events that unfolded in 2020, and their respective roles in controlling the Capitol Hill insurrection in 2021 in the wake of Joe Biden being elected President.
Trump chose through his Truth Social site to lash out at Pence, his former Vice President and GOP presidential primary opponent, calling him “delusional” and “not a very good person”.
“WOW, it’s finally happened! Liddle’ Mike Pence, a man who was about to be ousted as Governor of Indiana until I came along and made him V.P., has gone to the Dark Side,” Trump said in a Truth Social post.
“I never told a newly emboldened (not based on his 2 per cent poll numbers!) Pence to put me above the Constitution, or that Mike was ‘too honest’,” Trump added.
“He’s delusional, and now he wants to show he’s a tough guy,” Trump was quoted by the US media as saying.
Trump’s comments on Pence are yet the sharpest attack against a person who has rebuked him on the campaign trail for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
According to Trump’s third indictment earlier this week, Trump told Pence in one conversation on January 1, 2021 that he was “too honest” when the Vice President said he lacked the authority to change the results of the 2020 elections.
The then Vice President broke with Trump on the day of the US Capitol riot and certified the results.
Pence, one of the hopefuls for the 2024 presidential race, who was humiliated by Trump for not invoking the 25th amendment to stay Biden’s victory in 2020, was called a ‘WIMP’ by Trump, and his supporters erected a stockade before the Capitol Hill with the cry “Hang Pence”.
Pence said repeatedly during his campaign speeches that Trump demanded he “choose between him and the Constitution”.
In response to Trump’s indictments, Pence has maintained that the former President is not above the law, CNN reported.
Pence, however, hasn’t ruled out pardoning Trump even though the former President’s actions on January 6 were reckless, but he was not convinced at all that Trump was above the law or that he is convinced that his actions were criminal, Pence told CNN.
Ever since Trump was indicted for a third time by the federal prosecutors, he has upped his attack on Pence, who had testified in April before the federal grand jury on his role in the election probe and the subsequent attack on Capitol Hill.
Trump appears punch drunk with success over gallup polls which put him as the front ranker for the GOP nominations as he said the more the indictments, his chances of success were higher in the 2024 polls as he is getting more popular with the people who believe that he is being politically persecuted by the Biden government to knock out a powerful opponent.
Meanwhile, Pence disputed Trump’s legal teams’ claims and said that the former President had asked him for his thoughts on what they should do after the 2020 election results.
Pence rejected outright the idea that Trump only asked him to delay the counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021 to allow for audits of state election results, disputing the characterisation of their interactions made by some members of Trump’s legal team, CBS reported.
“That’s not what happened,” Pence said in an interview aired on CBS.
“From sometime in the middle of December, the President began to be told that I had some authority to reject or return votes back to the states,” he continued. “I had no such authority.”