Then-President Donald Trump reportedly told his Vice President Mike Pence that he had two choices on January 6th, and laid them out in his own terms: “You can either be a patriot or a p*ssy.” That’s one revelation in a new book that tells the story of Trump’s final days in office, and of the pressure he placed on Pence to help him carry out a coup by overturning the outcome of the 2020 election.
Jonathan Karl, of ABC news, tells the story in his new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, and ABC is sharing some of the book’s contents in advance of its release on Tuesday. In a new report, they share the story of a memo that attorney Jenna Ellis reportedly drafted to instruct Pence on his exact role in overturning the election.
However, it wasn’t just Ellis who directed Pence to reject six states’ results and demand new counts by January 25th. Donald Trump reportedly made a phone call to Pence the morning of January 6th, pressuring him to act. Karl says that he double-checked with Trump before publishing, specifically asking if it was true that the former president told his VP “You can either go down in history as a patriot,or you can go down in history as a pussy.”
Trump said he would not refute the story.
The information comes from a January report in the New York Times, relying on testimony from two people who’d been briefed on the calls. Trump frequently insists that inside information leaked by anonymous sources can’t be trusted, so for him to confirm this story for the ABC reporter is an unusual case.
It’s also clear that what Trump promised is exactly what he and his fans worked to bring to fruition for Pence, who was threatened with death by hanging on the day of the attempted insurrection, and remains a target of MAGA anger since. In fact, just this past week, Trump sat for an interview in which he was asked about his supporters attacking the Capitol and shouting for Pence’s death, and he defended the threats, justifying them with statements about the rage he’d stoked in his fans who genuinely believed his claims about the election being “stolen.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com