What Really Happened Between Mike Pence and Donald Trump on January 6th, Revealed by Pence Chief of Staff

Written by Kyle Becker

The ongoing media narrative about a running feud between former President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence was recently up-ended by Pence’s former Chief of Staff Marc Short.

In the course of his interview on Fox News with Bret Baier, Short revealed in his account never-before-told details about what had actually happened between Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the day of the capitol uprising on January 6th.

As a brief recap, at the Senate impeachment trial, House Democrats made the allegation that Donald Trump had put Mike Pence’s life in danger with his speech delivered to supporters at the capitol.

President Trump made several references to Mike Pence during the speech, among one of the latest in his speech follows below.

“And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories,” he said.

During Trump’s speech, extremists that had traveled to the capitol to carry out their plans to start a riot attacked the capitol. Pence was evacuated from the building after the Secret Service determined the threat was credible and imminent.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s Twitter account issued a tweet that caused some to claim that Donald Trump was indifferent to the danger Pence was in.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump wrote in the now-deleted tweet. “USA demands the truth!”

The tweet came about ten minutes after Pence was evacuated from the capitol building, according to the timestamps on the video (2:14 p.m.) and the Trump tweet (2:24 p.m.).

Senator Tommy Tuberville said that he had notified the president about the danger that Pence was in.

“He didn’t get a chance to say a whole lot because I said, ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out. I’ve got to go,’” Tuberville said.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) said he’d never seen Pence so “angry” as when Donald Trump pressured him to object to electoral college certification.

“I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” Inhofe said to Tulsa World after the incident. “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”

The scene was an ugly one. The blood of the rioters was boiling. One of the rioters even carried a sign that said “hang Pence.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier sat down with former Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short, who gave a remarkable firsthand account of what the capitol riots were like for Pence and his aide.

“Tell us about January 6th, where the Vice President’s mindset is after this and… What’s the fallout from it?” Baier asked.

“Well, Bret, there’s a lot there. On January 6th, I’ll fast forward to the moment when I actually,” Short began, “We were in the Senate having moved from the House over to the Senate chamber to debate Arizona, and the Secret Service came to the vice president and asked him to leave the Senate chamber for security reasons and recessed into his ceremonial office right off the senate floor.”

“Over the course of the next few minutes, the Secret Service came in multiple times to ask the vice president to evacuate,” he continued, “Then he was resolute saying, I’m not going to evacuate the capitol, we’re not going to allow the marauders here to win, and I’m staying here.”

It’s a statement that testifies to the courage of Pence facing the mob that attacked the capitol.

“The third time the Secret Service came in, they didn’t really give the Vice President’s family a choice,” Short continued, “They said, We’re taking you and we’re evacuating. As we went down to a secure location, actually went by the motorcade, and they even said to the Vice President, we can hold here in the vehicles, and he said, ‘Look, I trust you to… But watching this vehicles, you’re going to take us away. And I’m determined to stay here, and I saw the Vice President exert enormous leadership by quickly calling Senator McConnell and Leader McCarthy and Pelosi and Schumer to make sure they were safe and okay, and then quickly move forward to how can we get back to finishing the work of the American people.”

“And in those moments, he… the frustration that he first heard was a sense that the National Guard was a little bit slower in getting there than the leadership wanted, so the vice president offered to call (Acting Defense) Secretary Miller and General Milley, which he did, and they assured him that, ‘Look, we’re moving as quickly as we can to convey that back to leadership.’ They reconvened, had several calls.”

“At some point, there was a concern that may take a few days to reconvene. And at that point, he asked me to call the chief of police (Steven Sund) for the US capitol to come and meet with us, because there are concerns that there could have been explosive devices or the things left behind, and it would take a long time to actually clear the building,” he said. “And Secret Service offered to bring canine units in and the vice president, a leadership, we’re very determined to say, ‘We want to make sure that these sort of actions are not rewarded, we want to finish the business tonight. And they pursued it, and he was in command and helping work with leadership to make sure that that was executed that evening.”

Short also had something to say about the current divide between some Trump supporters and the establishment GOP.

“It was a tragic day,” he continued, “but I think for the party, the inner squabbles are really less helpful, I think that where we should be focused today, is recognizing the Democrat policies of opening our borders, but not up in our schools, of having taxpayers pay for more windmills in Texas, of proposing minimum wage hikes that CDO even estimates would kill one and a half to three and half… million jobs is where we should be focused on our agenda, and that will bring our party back together.”

“The reality as you look at Mitch McConnell and the President, they accomplished an enormous amount together from passing an incredible historic tax relief to passing deregulation legislation. To confirming 230 judges and three Supreme Court justices, and for them to work together would be much more constructive for the party moving forward,” Short added.

At this point, Short puts to rest impressions there are necessarily long-standing irreconcilable differences between Pence and Trump.

“We haven’t heard obviously from the former Vice President, you know, he didn’t hear from President Trump for a couple of days from all that we’ve heard,” Baier said. “And the thing that… the tweet had happened was Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country to our Constitution, giving stages a chance to certify a correct set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones, which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth’…  as he was making the case, tweeting that out, as the Vice President is being evacuated from Capitol Hill and people are chanting hang Pence, I assume you have talked to the vice president about this moment and that kind of interaction. What is his feeling about the former President Trump and that moment of time?” Baier asked.

“Well, Bret, I think that they forged a close friendship over four years and accomplished a lot for the American people,” Short replied. “I think, unfortunately, the president receives some really bad advice in the last couple of months of the administration, and sadly, from senior staff who should have known better.”

“But the reality is, that since that day, the Vice President was clear leading into January 6th, as to what he viewed his constitutional responsibilities to be, and the notion that any limited government conservative would suggest that our founders wanted any one person to be able to unilaterally decide what electors to accept or reject is foolishness,” he said.

“But despite their differences, the reality is that they’ve had multiple conversations before departed,” he continued. “The President thanked the vice president for a service, told him he did a great job, and they’ve even had conversations since then, including even this week.”

“And so look, there’s a lot they accomplish together and they should be proud about,” he said. “But clearly, on January 6, there is a difference of opinion about what the Vice President’s role would be. And I regret that, I think that the President was misled and by some advisors.”

When asked if he felt that Donald Trump and Mike Pence had “mended fences,” Short replied, “I think so.”


OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.



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