The decade's most triggering comedy
Former Vice President Mike Pence said he does not recall being pressured to try and get Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey to seek out evidence of voter fraud in his state after the 2020 election.
Margaret Brennan, moderator of CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” asked Pence to respond to a Washington Post report with claims that Trump pushed his No. 2 to call Ducey in an effort to overturn the 2020 election results in his favor.
“I don’t remember any pressure,” Pence said in an interview that aired Sunday morning.
Asked about @washingtonpost report that Trump urged @Mike_Pence to "prod" then AZ Gov Ducey to overturn 2020 election, Pence tells @margbrennan he called Ducey & other Govs to get an update on election result reviews but doesn't recall "any pressure" from Trump to influence… pic.twitter.com/eh0JW1iBVo
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 2, 2023
Pence did concede that he called multiple governors, including Ducey, “going through the legal process of reviewing their election results,” but he insisted that there was “no pressure” involved in those conversations.
“I was calling to get an update. I passed along that information to the president and, as I said, I think the record from that time confirms all of that,” Pence said.
Pence, himself a former governor of Indiana, said the states were going through a process “after so much uncertainty about the election outcome” in places such as Arizona and Georgia that Trump lost.
“States around the country were going through the legal process of engaging in a review under state law,” Pence said. “I got updates on that, passed that along, and it was no more, no less than that.”
Special counsel Jack Smith is investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to challenge the outcome of the 2020 contest. Pence, who, like Trump is now running a 2024 presidential campaign, appeared before a federal grand jury in April.
Beyond the federal inquiry, Trump’s calls to Georgia officials about that state’s 2020 election results are also under investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Trump already faces charges in other cases but broadly denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the target of a “witch hunt.”
Pence acknowledged that he did resist pressure from Trump to attempt sending back election results to certain states in January 2021 when he presided over a joint session of Congress as lawmakers certified Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
“The president expressed his strong belief that I had authority that I did not have under the Constitution in the closing days,” Pence said.
Pence said that he and Trump “continue to have a strong difference” on that issue, but he stressed, “I’ll always believe that by God’s grace, I did my duty under the Constitution that day in presiding over a joint session of Congress in the aftermath of the mayhem and the rioting.”
But during November and December 2020, Pence said there was an “orderly process” in which multiple states were conducting reviews of their election results and dozens of lawsuits were underway.
Referring to his calls with governors, Pence insisted he engaged in “information gathering.” He added, “We passed that information along and otherwise just focused on the work at hand.”