For four years Donald Trump and Mike Pence formed a close working relationship.
But at the end it all fell apart.
And then Donald Trump admitted something to Mike Pence that put jaws on the ground.
The breaking point for Donald Trump and Mike Pence came in January when Mike Pence counted the results of the Electoral College and certified Joe Biden’s win.
Before that joint session of Congress, Trump and Pence had a blow up over Pence’s role.
According to the new book “Peril” by Washington Post reporters Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, Pence sought guidance from former Vice President Dan Quayle – who, like Pence, hailed from Indiana and was the last sitting vice president to preside over certifying the results of his own loss.
Costa and Woodward reported that Quayle told Pence he had no flexibility to reject certified results from the states.
“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle reportedly stated.
“You don’t know the position I’m in,” Pence responded.
Quayle shot back that he understood and that the law provided no wiggle room for Pence.
“I do know the position you’re in,” Quayle reportedly told Pence. “I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power.”
After speaking with Quayle, Pence broke the news to Donald Trump that Pence had no power to reject the results of the Electoral College.
Trump reportedly asked Pence if he wanted the power to reject the Electoral College.
“If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?” Trump supposedly asked Pence.
“I wouldn’t want any one person to have that authority,” Pence responded.
“But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?” Trump wondered.
“No,” Pence added that, “I’ve done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It’s simply not possible.”
Pence’s response allegedly set off Trump.
“No, no, no!” Trump reportedly shouted at Pence. “You don’t understand, Mike. You can do this. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”
Trump then told Pence that if Pence did not reject the results from the Electoral College it would prove to Trump that he was wrong in picking Mike Pence as his running mate in 2016.
“If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago,” Trump said, according to the authors. “You’re going to wimp out.”
If Donald Trump does not run for president in 2024 Mike Pence will mount a presidential campaign.
But this reporting makes it clear why when Trump is asked to name future leaders of the Republican Party, he never includes Mike Pence in that list.
And should Pence run for president in 2024 it is highly likely that Trump will actively campaign against him.
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