President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse GOP leader tells members to quit spreading lies on riot, antifa DC attorney general says Trump Organization improperly paid K bill incurred during inauguration 70K QAnon Twitter accounts suspended in the wake of Capitol riot MORE told Vice President Pence he had a choice between being remembered by history “as a patriot … or as a p—-” while attempting to pressure him to overturn the results of the presidential election, according to a report from The New York Times.
Ahead of last week’s joint session of Congress, where lawmakers would eventually certify President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCapitol Police confirm investigation into some officers’ behavior during riot GOP lawmakers told Trump takes some responsibility for Capitol riot Director of Army Staff disputes Capitol Police chief account of National Guard deployment MORE as the victor, Trump increasingly became wrongly convinced the vice president had the power to intervene in the counting of the vote.
The two held a series of meetings leading up to Wednesday in which Trump repeatedly attempted to pressure Pence to attempt to override Biden’s victory. “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a p—-,” Trump said just before Pence headed to the Capitol on Wednesday, according to the Times, citing two people briefed on the conversation.
Shortly after Pence arrived at the Capitol and the certification began, a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol, forcing the Secret Service to evacuate Pence and prompting a lockdown of the building. Trump tweeted that Pence had lacked “the courage” to take action as the rioters, some of whom chanted for Pence to be hanged, stormed the Capitol.
The report comes as Pence submitted a letter to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMan seen carrying Pelosi’s lectern during Capitol riot released on K bail Trump and Pence speak for first time since Capitol riots FBI seeks assistance identifying Capitol rioter who carried Confederate flag MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment. Trump and Pence met for the first time in five days at the Oval Office on Monday evening, a meeting sources told the Times was “nonsubstantive” and “stilted.”
“He set Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceBarr, White House counsel told Trump not to self-pardon: report Pence’s relationship with Trump fractures in final days Pompeo feud with US global media agency intensifies MORE up that day by putting it on his shoulders,” Ryan Streeter, who served an adviser to Pence when he was governor of Indiana, told the Times. “That’s a pretty unprecedented thing in American politics. For a president to throw his own vice president under the bus like that and to encourage his supporters to take him on is something just unconscionable in my mind.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House and Pence’s office for comment.