Former Vice President Mike Pence said then-President Donald Trump “endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building” during the Jan. 6 riot.
“The president’s words were reckless and his actions were reckless,” Pence told ABC’s David Muir of his clear anger at his commander-in-chief as rioters stormed the Capital in 2021.
“It was clear he decided to be part of the problem,” insisted Pence in his most blunt account of his anger from that day.
Pence, 63, made clear that he feels Trump’s refusal to admit he lost the 2020 election put the veep in danger when Trump told fired-up supporters to “fight like hell” and head to the Capitol as Pence was overseeing Congress’ certification of the election results.
Trump, 76, claimed Pence could easily overturn the result — with those storming the building chanting “Hang Mike Pence” and erecting a gallows, forcing him to flee the building.
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” Pence told Muir in an interview set to air in full Monday.
He breathed heavily and looked uncomfortable when asked about Trump’s first tweet on the chaos even as members were “barricaded inside the House Chamber.”
The message, Muir reminded him, said that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
After an eight-second pause, Pence finally admitted that “it angered me.”
“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,’” he said of his decision to oppose Trump’s push to deny the results.
“I mean the president’s words were reckless,” he repeated.
During the hourslong siege, Pence spoke to numerous officials — including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attorney general and chief of the Capitol Police — but not Trump himself.
Asked “where was the president in all this,” Pence said: “I can’t account for what the president was doing that day.
“I was at a loading dock at the Capitol, where a riot was taking place.”
Asked why Trump was watching on TV from the White House and not making urgent calls, Pence diplomatically said: “That’d be a good question for him.”
Pence was interviewed in his home in Indiana ahead of the Tuesday release of his memoir, “So Help Me God.” He has previously refused to attack Trump, even while admitting he is unlikely to support his former boss’s expected bid to try to return to the White House. Trump has teased a Tuesday announcement.