(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump chided former Vice President Mike Pence for resisting a plan to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election, saying he’ll be remembered as a “wimp,” according to an excerpt of Pence’s new book published in The Wall Street Journal.
“On Saturday, Jan. 2 , I instructed my chief of staff to issue a statement supporting the right of lawmakers to bring objections under the Electoral Count Act. By Sunday morning, the headline ‘Pence Welcomes Congressional Republicans’ Bid to Challenge Electoral Votes’ was everywhere. When the president called me that morning, his mood had brightened,” Pence wrote in the excerpt of “So Help Me God.”
“‘You have gone from very unpopular to popular!’ [Trump] exclaimed. But then he pressed me again to reject electoral votes unilaterally. ‘You can be a historic figure,’ he said, ‘but if you wimp out, you’re just another somebody.’”
Pence writes that Trump and some supporters had urged him to use his role in Congress’s election certification process to block electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, adding that he resisted Trump’s pressure and raised concerns that he didn’t possess power under the Constitution that would enable him to reject the 2020 electoral votes.
“‘You’re too honest,’ [Trump] chided. ‘Hundreds of thousands of people are gonna hate your guts… People are gonna think you’re stupid,’” Pence wrote.
“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 added.
Pence ultimately went through with the certification after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Pence also writes he told Trump he was “angry” about the Jan. 6 attack and argued that the rioters weren’t Trump’s “true” supporters.
Pence’s memoir, “So Help Me God” is slated for release next Tuesday — the same day Trump is set to give an announcement from Mar-a-Lago in Florida, during which he’s widely expected to announce a 2024 presidential bid.
Pence has teased his own White House run and sidestepped questions about whether he’d back Trump in 2024, saying at an event last month that “there might be somebody else I prefer more.”