Pence And Trump's Relationship Fall To Pieces During Final Days
Vice President Mike Pence has a reputation for being the most loyal sidekick to President Donald Trump, who demands loyalty among aides but has rarely returned it. The vice president stood by him through a slew of controversies, including the Access Hollywood tape, impeachment, Lafayette Square, and more.
With only a few days remaining before leaving office together, their relationship has shattered. Trump didn't even call Pence on Wednesday after he was taken to safety. At the same time, pro-Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, with some of them reportedly planning violence against the vice president.
Trump didn't call Pence following the riot. On Monday, Trump and Pence spoke for the first time, going five days without any communication even as the vice president came under additional threats. A senior administration official said they met in the Oval Office, where they discussed plans for their concluding days in office, The Hill reported.
Pence has not ruled out an attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment, further fracturing their relationship, a source told CNN. If Pence refuses to move on to the 25th Amendment, House Democrats are gearing up to introduce a new round of impeachment proceedings over the president's role in triggering the deadly riot.
If the House Democrats go forward, Republicans would again be subject to a test of their loyalty. In his statement, deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere pointed out that Pence has played an important role in helping Trump achieve successes on behalf of Americans, adding that they are grateful for Pence's service to the country.
Cracks between Trump and Pence emerged following Election Day, with the president pushing his conspiracy theories of massive voter fraud and claiming that the election was stolen from him. On the other hand, Pence insisted that every legal vote needs to be counted, carefully trying to avoid reiterating the president's language but not undercutting him.
Just like Pence has no intention of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, the president doesn't plan to resign before his term ends on Jan. 20. Both Trump and Pence said those who broke into the Capitol do not represent the country's first movement, which was supported by 75 million Americans, NDTV reported.
Pence recently informed Trump that he did not believe he has the authority to reject electors for Biden during the congressional certification of the president-elect's win. Trump pressured Pence to interfere in the certification process anyway.