Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Mike Pence on Friday for not having the “courage” to overthrow President Joe Biden’s election victory—just a day after the Jan. 6 committee hailed the ex-veep as a hero for not participating in Trump’s failed coup attempt.
Additionally, the twice-impeached ex-president denied that he ever called Pence a “wimp” for not going along with his crazy theory to steal the 2020 election. At the same time, though, Trump repeatedly called Pence a “human conveyer belt” and a “robot” for certifying Biden’s electoral votes.
During Thursday’s hearing, the Jan. 6 House committee detailed the intense pressure campaign Trump and his allies placed on Pence ahead of the Capitol attack. Specifically, Trump’s outside legal adviser John Eastman pushed a wacky theory that the Trump team knew was clearly illegal that would call for Pence to act outside his authority. After the plan failed, Eastman tried to avoid prosecution by asking Trump’s then-personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to place him “on the pardon list.”
Furthermore, even while Trump was repeatedly told that Pence lacked the constitutional and legal ability to do what the then-president wanted, Trump allegedly called Pence a “wimp”—among other choice insults— in a last-minute arm-twisting plea. The committee also revealed that the mob—which included rioters chanting “hang Mike Pence”—got within 40 feet of the vice-president after they stormed the Capitol.
After railing about the “sham” and “unselect” committee during his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Friday, Trump turned his attention to Pence and other “RINOs” he felt were insufficiently loyal to him following the election.
“One guy got up and said that he heard me calling Mike Pence a ‘wimp,’” Trump stated. “Now honestly, I’m the president of the United States. I’m sitting, I think they said at my desk. ‘He’s a wimp.’ How many people listen to me—I don’t even know who these people are! But I never called Mike Pence a wimp. I never called him a wimp.”
From there, however, the ex-president took aim at his former running mate for failing to assist in illegally keeping him in office—and he basically called Pence a wimp in so many words.
“Mike Pence had a chance to be great,” Trump exclaimed. “He had a chance to be, frankly, historic. But just like [former Attorney General] Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike—and I say it sadly because I like him—but Mike did not have the courage to act.”
Trump, of course, then pivoted to blasting Barr, who called Trump’s election fraud claims “bullshit” and laughed off MAGA media’s attempts to prove the “Big Lie.” According to Trump, Barr didn’t go along with his post-election plans because he was “afraid” of impeachment.
“I said what’s wrong with being impeached,” Trump bellowed. “I got impeached twice and my poll numbers went up!”
Still, most of Trump’s animosity was reserved for Pence.
Regarding the legal consensus that Pence had “no choice” but to certify Biden’s victory, the disgraced ex-president likened Pence to a “human conveyer belt.”
After claiming he never wanted Pence to “decide” the election but rather just wanted him to send votes back to state legislatures for them to decide, Trump seemed to confirm that he pushed Eastman’s garbage theories in conversations with his vice president. (Though, according to Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, this particular encounter never happened.)
“So, I said, ‘Mike, if you do this, you can be Thomas Jefferson,’” the ex-president boasted. “And then, after it all went down, I looked at him one day and I said, ‘Mike, hate to say this, but you’re no Thomas Jefferson.’”
During Thursday’s hearing, former Pence counsel Greg Jacob testified that Eastman had attempted to cite a supposed precedent involving Jefferson and John Adams to make the case for his theory. In the end, however, Eastman admitted that it was nothing.
“He had initially tried to push examples of Jefferson and Adams,” Jacobs recounted. “He ultimately acknowledged they did not work.”