Former President Trump hasn’t confirmed whether he’s going to run again in 2024, but if he does, don’t expect to see his former VP Mike Pence on the ticket.
“I don’t think the people would accept it,” Trump told the Washington Examiner in a phone interview Tuesday evening from Mar-a-Lago.
The former president reportedly complained about Pence’s refusal to play along with his election fraud falsehoods. Pence, who presided over the Senate on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, refused to cave to Trump’s pressure campaign to toss electoral votes from battleground states.
Trump also went after the (slow-moving) bipartisan effort in Congress to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA), the 130-year-old law he had tried to weaponize to pressure Pence into throwing out the 2020 election results. Pence did not have the authority to overturn the election results and lawmakers believe reforming the ECA would erase any ambiguity surrounding the matter. Reforming the century-old law would also make it harder for members of Congress to object to certifying results.
After describing Pence as a “really fine person,” Trump reportedly signaled that he has distanced himself from his former VP.
“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end. We had a very good relationship,” Trump told the Examiner. “I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”
Trump insisted that although he “still likes Mike,” he made clear to the Examiner that he’s still very much on his Big Lie crusade, and he won’t be ending his revenge tour on former allies he accuses of supposed insufficient loyalty any time soon.
“Mike thought he was going to be a human conveyor belt, that no matter how fraudulent the votes, you have to send them up to the Old Crow,” Trump told the Examiner, his nickname for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who the former president continues to begrudge after McConnell condemned Trump for his role in inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection last year.
“But that turned out to be wrong. Because now, as you know, they are feverishly working to try and get it so that the vice president cannot do what Mike said he couldn’t do,” the former president added, referring to proposals to reform the ECA. “Obviously, they were either lying, misrepresenting, or they didn’t know.”
“I was disappointed in Mike,” Trump continued.
Since leaving office, Pence has repeatedly defended his certification of Biden’s win. During a Federalist Society conference last month, Pence said that Trump was “wrong” to insist that his former VP had the authority to overturn the results. Additionally, during an event he headlined at Stanford University last month, Pence said he was unsure if he and Trump will “ever see eye to eye” on the vice president’s authority regarding elections.
This all comes after Trump demanded last month for the Jan. 6 Select Committee to investigate Pence for doing his job to certify the 2020 election results.
“The Unselect Committee should be investigating why Nancy Pelosi did such a poor job of overseeing security and why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!” Trump said in a statement last month through his Save America PAC.