Former Vice President Mike Pence surprised CNN’s Dana Bash over the weekend when he said he was unconcerned by Donald Trump’s veiled threat about what his supporters might do if he is sentenced to prison.
The twice-indicted former president had told an Iowa radio station last week that the prospect of going to jail was “a very dangerous thing to even talk about, because we have a tremendously passionate group of voters.”
Pence, whose security team reportedly called family members to say goodbye during riots at the US Capitol staged by some of those voters, told CNN over the weekend that Trump’s rhetoric “doesn’t concern me” because “I have more confidence in the American people and in the people of our movement.”
“Virtually everyone in our movement is the type of American who loves this country, is patriotic, is a law and order person, who would never have done something like this,” he said, referring to the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.
“I hear the frustration of my former running mate in his voice, but I am confident that the American people will respond in our movement in a way that will express, as they have every right to do under the First Amendment, express the concerns they have about what they perceive to be unequal treatment of the law,” Pence continued.
Bash seemed surprised by the response.
“It’s quite remarkable that you’re not worried about it, given the fact that they wanted to hang you on January 6th,” she replied.
Pence responded, arguing that it was unfair “to take those who perpetrated violence on January 6 and use a broad brush to describe everyone in our movement.”
After rioters stormed the Capitol in 2021, the Secret Service took Pence to a secure area near the Senate. The intruders came within 40 feet of him before he was evacuated.
A gallows was erected outside the building, where some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” because he had been presiding over the certification of the 2020 election results that Trump did not like.
Since then, Trump has been indicted twice: first, in March, in a statewide case in New York over an alleged hush money scheme that may have influenced the 2016 election, and again in June in a federal investigation into his handling of classified documents after leaving office.
He is also the subject of a federal investigation since January 6, 2021, and could be charged a third time as part of that investigation.