Vice President Mike Pence revealed on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump criticized him for being “too honest” and warned that “thousands are gonna hate your guts” in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In the piece published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Pence said Trump made the remarks on New Year’s Day 2021 after Pence refused to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.

In the meeting, Pence said he was not going to support a lawsuit filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert to grant the vice president “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to decide which electoral votes to count. 

“I don’t want to see ‘Pence Opposes Gohmert Suit’ as a headline this morning,” Trump told Pence five days before the riot at the Capitol, according to the former vice president. 

Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence reveals Trump was not fond of his honesty regarding the 2020 election.
AP/ J. Scott Applewhite
MIKE PENCE AND DONALD TRUMP
According to Pence, Trump warned that “thousands are gonna hate your guts” prior to Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
AFP via Getty Images

After Trump’s comment, Pence says that he informed the former president that he did oppose the lawsuit, to which Trump reportedly responded, “If it gives you the power … why would you oppose it?”

When Pence explained his legalistic reasoning behind not wanting to reject electors, namely that he didn’t believe that he “possessed that power under the Constitution” to do that, Trump chastised him, according to Pence. 

“‘You’re too honest … Hundreds of thousands are gonna hate your guts … People are gonna think you’re stupid,’” Trump said, berating his number two.

Following that encounter with the president, Pence writes that Trump continued to pressure him to reject electoral votes unilaterally. 

“You can be a historic figure … but if you wimp out, you’re just another somebody,” Trump reportedly told Pence on Jan. 2. 

And then on Jan. 4, Pence says that he was summoned to the Oval Office for a meeting with legal scholar John Eastman, Trump, and others, during which Eastman argued unconvincingly that Pence could stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

A second similar meeting between Eastman the president and the vice president occurred the following day, and on the morning of Jan. 6, Trump once again called Pence to pressure him to overturn the election results. 

Donald Trump
Pence claims Trump chastised him for going against his wishes.
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Donald Trump
“You can be a historic figure … but if you wimp out, you’re just another somebody,” Trump told Pence. according to the former vice president.
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

“The president laid into me. ‘You’ll go down as a wimp,’ he said. ‘If you do that, I made a big mistake five years ago!’” Pence recalls Trump telling him the morning of Jan. 6 after he informed him once again that he didn’t believe he had the constitutional authority to reject electors. 

Trump is under investigation by the Justice Department and the House Jan. 6 committee over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 

Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, are also investigating Trump over a phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to change the election results in Georgia. 

The op-ed published by the Journal was adapted from Pence’s upcoming memoir, “So Help Me God.” The book is due out Nov. 15,  the same day Trump plans to make what he called a “very big announcement” that many believe is a 2024 presidential run announcement.



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