Former President Donald Trump warned on a conservative talk-radio show last week that it would be “very dangerous” if he went to prison over the Jan. 6 insurrection, as his supporters are “a passionate group of voters.”
But his former vice president, Mike Pence, who encountered a large group of passionate Trump voters out for his blood two years ago, doesn’t seem worried.
“Everyone in our movement are the kind of Americans who love this country, are patriotic or law-and-order people who would never have done anything like that there or anywhere else,” Pence told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday’s State of the Union. “I have more confidence in the American people than that. I hear my former running mate’s frustration in his voice, but I’m sure the American people will respond in our movement in a way that will express, as they have every right to under the First Amendment, to express concerns that they have about what they perceive to be unequal treatment of the law. But I’m not concerned about it beyond that.”
The winding answer seemingly left Bash flabbergasted, prompting her to note why someone like Pence of all people should be concerned.
“It’s pretty remarkable that you’re not concerned about it, given the fact that they wanted to hang you on on Jan. 6,” she said through a laugh before attempting to move on.
But Pence wouldn’t let that stand, refusing to let the CNN anchor “use a broad brush” to classify everyone at the Capitol on Jan. 6 as being perpetrators of violence.
“The people in this movement, the people who rally behind our cause in 2016 and 2020, are the most God-fearing, law-abiding, patriotic people in this country,” he said. “And I just I won’t stand for those kinds of generalizations because they have no basis in fact.”
But Pence wouldn’t say much about the person being investigated for allegedly helping to perpetuate some of the violence itself: His former boss.
Earlier in the interview, Bash asked Pence whether the Department of Justice should charge Trump if it finds evidence he committed a crime related to the insurrection. The ex-veep, however, would only note that Trump’s actions were inappropriate—though perhaps not criminal.
“I’ve said many times that the president’s words were reckless that day,” he said. “I had no right to overturn the election. But while his words were reckless, based on what I know, I’m not yet convinced that they were criminal.”