Former Vice President Mike Pence criticized former President Donald Trump for being "part of the problem" on the day of the Jan. 6 capitol attack, calling his words online and at the rally "reckless" in an interview with ABC's World News Tonight.
The interview marks Pence's first appearance on network television since the Jan. 6 riot occurred, and his strongest remarks on the day. ABC's David Muir asked Pence about Trump's tweets that day claiming Pence lacked the "courage" to use his power to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
"It angered me," Pence responded. "But I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby. And I said, 'It doesn't take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law.' The president's words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem."
Pence rebuked Trump's speech before the riot that forced Pence and other officials into lockdown, saying Trump's stance "endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building."
During his tenure as Trump's second-in-command, Pence stood beside him through several controversies, but his tone seemed to shift in the aftermath of the riot. At the time, some of Trump's supporters chanted "hang Mike Pence" after Trump began falsely claiming he could reject Electoral College votes.
Pence denounced Trump's assumptions a month later, saying, "President Trump is wrong." Since then, a public rift has emerged, with Trump announcing that the former vice president "very greatly disappointed me."