Mike Pence said on Thursday he doubted he would ever ‘see eye to eye’ with Donald Trump about the Capitol insurrection.
MAGA rioters stormed the Capitol building on January 6 as the then-Vice President was ratifying the result of the 2020 election, with some chanting: ‘Hang Mike Pence!’ when he said he did not have the power to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.
Pence, his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte were hurried to a secure facility with seconds to spare, as protesters rampaged through the building and came within yards of breaching the Senate chamber.
But Trump and his allies have played down the seriousness of the riot, with representative Andrew Clyde saying it was like a ‘normal tourist visit.’
Speaking at a Republican fundraiser Pence said: ‘You know, President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office. And I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day.
‘As I said that day, Jan. 6 was a dark day in history of the United States Capitol. But thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled. The Capitol was secured.
‘And that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.’
Yet the 61-year-old told Republicans that he would ‘always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.’
Pence’s remarks at a Republican dinner in New Hampshire provide his most extensive comments to date on the events of January 6.
It was a rare departure for Pence, who spent four years standing loyally beside his boss amid controversy, investigation and impeachment.
The government has said in court filings that in addition to the more than 400 people who had already been charged, federal prosecutors still expect to charge at least 100 more.
His speech Thursday comes as Pence considers his own potential 2024 White House run and as Republicans, some of whom were angry at Trump in the days after the January 6 insurrection, have largely coalesced back around the former one-term president.