Former Vice President Mike Pence has criticized former President Donald Trump for his role in the Capitol riot on January 6th in a speech on Thursday. Pence, who was present during the riot and had to be evacuated from the Capitol, had previously avoided directly criticizing Trump for inciting the violence. However, in his speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Pence described the riot as a “dark day in the history of the United States Congress,” and placed blame squarely on Trump.
Pence’s remarks come as tensions between him and Trump have reignited in recent weeks. Trump has repeatedly criticized Pence’s handling of the certification of the 2020 election results, which Trump claims was a missed opportunity to overturn the results. Trump’s criticism has been met with pushback from Pence, who has recently made more public appearances and spoken out against the former President.
In response to Pence’s speech, a spokesperson for Trump released a statement refuting the claims made by the former Vice President. The statement, released through the Save America PAC, accused Pence of “betraying” Trump and suggested that Pence was responsible for the violence on January 6th. Trump himself has also blamed Pence for not doing enough to overturn the election results.
The ongoing feud between Pence and Trump is just one example of the divisions within the Republican Party in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat. While some Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump and his rhetoric, others have doubled down in their support for the former President. The split has raised questions about the future of the party as it seeks to chart a course forward.