Trump Slammed Pence as ‘Wimp’ During 6 January 2021 Phone Call – Witnesses
09:50 GMT 17.06.2022 (Updated: 09:51 GMT 17.06.2022)
© AFP 2023 / POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Donald Trump walks out with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.
© AFP 2023 / POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA
Former US President Donald Trump had repeatedly berated Mike Pence after the latter refused to block the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election in Congress, in what was followed by the 6 January 2021 Capitol breach. The issue was high on the agenda of the latest third hearing of the House Select Committee.
During a phone call on 6 January 2021, then-President Donald Trump called his Vice President Mike Pence a “wimp” and the “p-word,” witnesses attending the House Select Committee’s third hearing have testified.
They asserted on Thursday that the subject of the call was Pence’s reluctance to stick to Trump’s plan to turn the Electoral College results back to the states when Congress was scheduled to meet later on 6 January last year.
Pence cited the overwhelming legal consensus stipulating that he lacked the legal authority to do so, which infuriated the 45th US president, according to the witnesses.
In a video deposition shown by the panel, former First Daughter Ivanka Trump said that she was taken aback when listening to her father scolding Pence, arguing that “the conversation was pretty heated”.
“It was a different tone than I heard him take with the vice president before”, she added.
The view was shared by White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, who was in the Oval Office during the call and testified on Thursday that “at some point it started off as a calmer tone and then became heated”.
15 January 2021, 23:21 GMT
He asserted that Ivanka Trump was affected by her dad’s behaviour at the time. “I think she was uncomfortable over the fact that there was obviously that type of interaction between the two of them,” he testified referring to Pence and the 45th president.
The ex-POTUS’ pressure on Pence was also testified to by former assistant to Trump Nicolas Luna.
“I remember hearing the word ‘wimp’. I don’t remember if he [Trump] said, ‘You are a wimp,’ ‘You’ll be a wimp.’ ‘Wimp’ was the word I remember”, Luna told the select committee.
In other testimonies, Julie Radford, Ivanka Trump's chief of staff, told the panel that Trump called Pence the “p-word” during the call, while retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence's former national security adviser, recalled that Trump told Pence, “You're not tough enough to make the call.”
The committee’s third public hearing came in a seven-part series by the panel aimed to showcase testimony and interviews with officials linked to the events of January 6 in an effort to lay out an alleged plot by Trump to overturn the 2020 election results.
Trump himself and numerous other critics asserted that the work of the committee is a show trial intended to score political points before upcoming midterm elections. Critics also said the panel’s investigation is biased because US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to admit Republican lawmakers on the panel who may question and challenge its work.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe previously found scant evidence that the 6 January Capitol breach was the result of an organised plot to overturn the 4 November 2020 US election results.
On 6 January 2021, a mob of protesters, including dozens of Trump supporters, besieged the US Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the results of what the 45th president slammed as "the most corrupt election" in American history. Four people died during the unrest, and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers.
Trump held a rally on 6 January outside the White House, where he made a pledge to his supporters that he would not allow the election to be "stolen" from him.
Using his now-suspended Twitter account, the 45th president later urged his supporters "to stay peaceful" and "go home", recording a video address on 7 January 2021 condemning the violence.
Trump was then impeached for an unprecedented second time over accusations of "incitement of insurrection", but was finally acquitted in the Senate.