Former Vice President Mike Pence is starting to talk more openly about the events that transpired in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Pence’s role was notable as he oversaw the counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021. During that counting, Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, which interrupted the counting of votes.
He wrote about the experience in an op-ed published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. The letter comes as Trump has teased a possible run for the presidency next week.
Pence himself is also rumored to be a presidential candidate in 2024.
During that incident, members of Congress and Pence were forced away from the House and Senate chambers.
Pence said he initially thought security could handle the crowd. He explained why he did not want to leave the Capitol complex during the insurrection.
“I told my detail that I wasn’t leaving my post,” Pence wrote. “Mr. Giebels (head of Pence’s Secret Service detail) pleaded for us to leave. The rioters had reached our floor. I pointed my finger at his chest and said, “You’re not hearing me, I’m not leaving! I’m not giving those people the sight of a 16-car motorcade speeding away from the Capitol.”
Pence also described his discussion with Trump five days after the insurrection.
“I met with the president on Jan. 11,” Pence said. “He looked tired, and his voice seemed fainter than usual. ‘How are you?’ he began. ‘How are Karen and Charlotte?’ I replied tersely that we were fine and told him that they had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6. He responded with a hint of regret, ‘I just learned that.’ He then asked, ‘Were you scared?’
“‘No,’ I replied, ‘I was angry. You and I had our differences that day, Mr. President, and seeing those people tearing up the Capitol infuriated me.’”