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Trump’s 1st meeting with Pence since Capitol assault was friendly: Officials


JANUARY 12, 2021

FILE President Donald Trump works in the Oval Office of the White House, Jan. 4, 2021. – Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s first meeting with Vice President Mike Pence since before last week’s deadly siege of the Capitol lasted 90 minutes and was friendly in nature, according to White House officials briefed on the meeting.

The Oval Office conversation Monday evening marked the first time Trump had even spoken with Pence since he called him Wednesday morning, hours before the president’s supporters rioted after he urged them to march on the Capitol.

Trump met with Pence after his advisers and allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, had urged him to do so. One senior adviser called it “unconscionable” that Trump had yet to talk to Pence after the vice president’s life was threatened at the Capitol.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady Briefing Room in the White House, Nov. 24, 2020, in Washington as Vice President Mike Pence looks on. – Susan Walsh/AP, FILE

The conversation also came as Democrats on Capitol Hill called on Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to use the 25th Amendment to strip the president of his powers.

The Monday meeting, though, the two focused on their administration’s accomplishments, the officials said. A senior administration official said they also discussed “the week ahead” — their final in office — and “pledged to continue to work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term.”

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi take part in a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2021. –  Saul Loeb/Pool via Reuters

The officials did not say whether the insurrection at the Capitol came up.

On Wednesday, the pro-Trump rioters had chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” — targeting him for his reluctance to shirk his constitutional duties and overturn the election results during a joint session of Congress — and the president has yet to publicly condemn them.

White House deputy press secretary over the weekend said in a statement, “We strongly condemn all calls to violence, including those against any member of this administration.” But he did not mention Pence by name.

As the pro-Trump mob ransacked Congress, the president on Wednesday had tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

The last time Trump spoke with Pence was on Wednesday morning, when he called to pressure Pence to overturn the results.

White House officials characterized the pair’s relationship as irrevocably broken after the events of the past week.

Courtesy/Source: ABC News