Witnesses: Trump Called Pence a Wimp, 'P-Word'

Then-VP was 'steely, determined, grim' after 'heated' Jan. 6 call
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2022 5:16 AM CDT
Witnesses: Trump Called Pence a Wimp, 'P-Word'
Then- Vice President Mike Pence, center, returns to the House chamber just before midnight on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Witnesses heard at Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing said they could only hear one side of a "heated" phone call between then-President Trump and then-vice president Mike Pence—but it was clear just how much relations between the men had deteriorated amid Trump's last-ditch effort to block President Biden's election win. Witnesses said Trump called Pence a "wimp" during the phone call just before the Capitol riot, the Hill reports. Trump was using "a different tone than I’d heard him take with the vice president before," Ivanka Trump said in previously recorded testimony played for the hearing.

Julia Radford, Ivanka Trump's former chief of staff, testified that the Trump daughter told her Trump also called Pence the "p-word," BuzzFeed reports. Pence’s former national security adviser, retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, testified that Trump told Pence, "You're not tough enough to make the call," referring to Pence's refusal to reject electoral votes, reports Vox. "I remember hearing the word ‘wimp,’ either he called him a wimp, I don’t remember if he said you are a wimp, you’ll be a wimp, wimp is the word I remember," former Trump assistant Nicholas Luna said.

Greg Jacob, senior counsel to Pence, told the committee that Pence was "steely, determined, grim" when he returned to his staff after the Trump call, per the Hill. He proceeded to head to the Capitol to certify the election results while Trump, in rhetoric that the committee linked to the violence at the Capitol, amended his remarks at the "Stop the Steal" rally to say: "Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you." The hearing was told that Trump did not attempt to contact Pence after his supporters, some of them chanting "Hang Mike Pence," stormed the Capitol and the then-vice president was taken to a secure area. (More Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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