Former Vice President Mike Pence was justified in criticizing former President Donald Trump over the January 6, 2021 riots, an influential Texas Republican said Sunday, adding that Pence “exercised clarity and moral judgment” that day.
Pence’s comments, in a speech over the weekend, that Trump’s “reckless words endangered my family and everyone on Capitol Hill that day” were some of his strongest criticisms of his former boss.
The former vice president, along with other Republicans, is weighing a possible challenge to Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, moves that will force his party mates to choose sides.
“Vice President Pence exercised moral clarity and judgment that day,” Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“It was a dark day, and I think history will judge everyone by what they did that day.”
Trump unsuccessfully lobbied Pence and other Republican lawmakers who met on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, to block the certification of the 2020 election results.
McCaul said that Pence “avoided a major constitutional crisis that day.”
“As you know, I voted for certification, that’s our constitutional role, not to override state-certified ballots,” said McCaul, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In his speech on Saturday at the annual meeting Gridiron dinner for politicians and journalistsPence said: “President Trump was wrong.”
“He had no right to overturn the election,” the Indiana Republican said, adding: “I know history will hold Donald Trump to account.”
During riots in the US capital, some protesters chanted: “Hang Mike Pence.”
In its final report, the House committee that investigated the riots said Trump “had angered a mob that was after its own vice president.”
“Make no mistake about it, what happened that day was a disgrace,” Pence said in his speech. “And it mocks decency to portray him otherwise.”
with cable news services