Reports circulated in the months after former President Donald Trump left office that he and his vice president, Mike Pence, were working to repair their relationship, which had been strained in part by the Jan. 6 incident and the vice president’s decision to count electoral vote tallies from all states, including those in which the former president ran for office.
However, those attempts appear to have stagnated at some point last summer, according to Pence, who now claims he and Trump haven’t spoken since then, according to the Washington Examiner.
The former vice president indicated his relationship with the former president has suffered from tension over the events of Jan. 6, 2021, a date on which the two expressed differing views of the vice president’s constitutional responsibility in overseeing the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
“You know, we talked last summer,” Pence told Fox’s Jesse Watters on Thursday. “And, you know, I’ve said many times, it was difficult. Jan. 6 was difficult. It was a tragic day in the life of the nation.”
“I know I did my duty under the Constitution of the United States,” Pence added. “But the president and I sat down in the days that followed that. We spoke about it, talked through it. We parted amicably.”
Pence has downplayed the broader import of Jan. 6, saying “one tragic day in January” was being used to demean Trump supporters in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. However, he has not expressed regret over upholding the election results that day.
The former vice president’s decision not to overturn the election on Jan. 6 has placed him at odds with some Trump followers, leading the former president to claim that Pence’s relationship with the party was weak.
“I think Mike has been very badly hurt by what took place in respect to Jan. 6,” Trump observed at an event in Florida in December. “I think he’s been mortally wounded, frankly, because I see the reaction he’s getting from people.”
But, according to the former president, Pence’s choice to tally all electoral votes was his lone criticism of his vice president, whom he otherwise lauded.
“It’s like saying we won the game, [and] we win another game, but we got our a** kicked in the World Series,” Trump said. “Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures, and you would have had a different result in the election, in my opinion.”
To be clear, neither federal or state courts have determined that any state’s electoral votes are invalid. However, numerous Republican state legislatures have sought to enact “voter integrity” statutes in order to improve security and confidence in outcomes, however Democrats disagree, claiming that the laws are intended to disrupt voting rather than enhance it or secure results.
In April 2021, reports indicated that the two men were working on repairing their relationship and mending fences after Pence had pacemaker surgery.
“Absolutely. I really do,” Kellogg told the “John Solomon Reports” podcast on Friday when asked if the two could repair their relationship which was fractured following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building. “They’re talking together. I know the president called him when he had his operation just recently on the pacemaker. And I know they’re talking,” Kellogg said.
The retired general also discussed how the two men interacted during Trump’s presidency.
“When I used to be in the Oval with both of them, I just loved being with both of them,”. “There was good banter going back and forth. And you know, and when they would talk privately, I mean, the vice president would say, ‘Give me the room,’ which means ‘leave,’ and we would get up and leave the Oval, and then he and the president would talk out there,” he said.
“And I think they were an incredible team together going forward,” Kellogg added.