In a recent interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday's State of the Union, former Republican Vice President Mike Pence addressed former GOP President Donald Trump's warning that going to prison over the Jan. 6 insurrection would be "very dangerous" due to his "passionate" voter base.
Despite the chaotic events that unfolded on that day and the subsequent investigations, Pence expressed confidence in the American people and what he characterized as the law-abiding nature of their movement.
During the interview, Bash pressed Pence about his lack of concern regarding the potential dangers he faced during the January 6 insurrection, which resulted in at least five deaths, over 100 injuries to law enforcement—some of whom were forced to retire or resign due to PTSD—and millions of dollars in property damage to the U.S. Capitol building.
Reminding him of the angry mob that sought him while chanting "hang Mike Pence" with a gallows nearby, she questioned how he could be so composed.
You can watch their interaction in the video below.
The interview with Pence came after Trump said that he is likely to be indicted in Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation regarding his actions surrounding the 2020 election and threatened it would be “very dangerous” if he were jailed over the new charges.
During an interview with The Simon Conway Show conducted by host Doug Wagner, who was filling in for Conway, Wagner raised the topic of Trump potentially being jailed before his trial and inquired about his message to his supporters.
"I think it’s a very dangerous thing to even talk about, because we do have a tremendously passionate group of voters, much more passion than they had in 2020 and much more passion than they had in 2016."
But just days after Trump's interview, Pence seemed to downplay his threat entirely.
In fact, Pence's remarks suggested that the insurrection was merely a "patriotic" movement and that his life was never in danger, which is patently false:
“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."
“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 that."
A noticeably flabbergasted Bash then said exactly why Pence should be concerned given that many insurrectionists had expressed a desire to kill him that day over his decision to certify electoral votes for Democrat Joe Biden, the rightful winner:
“It’s pretty remarkable that you’re not concerned about it, given the fact that they wanted to hang you on on January 6."
Pence pushed back, saying he would not allow Bash to “use a broad brush” to suggest that those who participated in the attack were 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."
“And I just I won’t stand for those kinds of generalizations because they have no basis in fact.”
Pence's remarks were harshly criticized.
Pence has long appeared to play both sides, on one hand condemning the former President for pushing the "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was fraudulent, while on the other accusing Democrats of not advocating for election integrity.
In June 2021, five months after the attack, he acknowledged that he and Trump would never "see eye to eye" on January 6, which he referred to as
"... a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol, but thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled, the Capitol was secured and that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States."
However, in March, just three months before he issued that statement, he accused Democrats of ignoring "valid reforms and concerns" regarding the election despite there being no evidence that election fraud took place.
Saying that the events of January 6 "deprived the American people of a substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity in America," he claimed Democrats are ignoring the concerns of Republicans who amplified the former President's lies about the election.