The events on Capitol Hill have consecrated the rift between Donald Trump and his loyal vice-president, Mike Pence, who is preparing to attend the swearing-in of Joe Biden and facilitate the transfer of power between the two administrations.
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Unlike the Republican president, who announced in a terse tweet that he would not attend his successor’s inauguration ceremony on January 20, Mike Pence has made it known he will attend.
If the presence of the outgoing vice-president is not a surprise, Joe Biden having stressed that he was “welcome”, it illustrates the gap that has widened between the Republican president and his right-hand man since the certification of the victory for Mr. Biden on January 6.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence have not spoken to each other, according to the American press, since that day marked by the violent intrusion of supporters of the president on Capitol Hill, which killed several people, shocked America and stunned the world.
“Hang Mike Pence”
“One of Donald Trump’s most loyal is now the number one public enemy in the universe” of the president, summed up Republican elected representative in the House Adam Kinzinger on Sunday on ABC.
Despite pressure from the tenant of the White House, Mike Pence announced in a letter Wednesday that he would not oppose the validation of the presidential election results before Congress, sparking the fury of the president and his supporters.
“Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what he should have done to protect our country and our Constitution,” Donald Trump tweeted, as a horde of his supporters invaded the Capitol.
Videos posted on social media show a compact crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence” outside the Capitol. Other activists walked the halls of the Temple of American Democracy yelling that the vice president was a “coward,” according to the New York Times.
During these chaotic events, the Vice President was holed up in a bunker on the Capitol with his family. Donald Trump would not have called him to inquire about his safety, according to NBC.
Impassive and discreet, Mike Pence is nevertheless considered one of Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters.
He has so far not responded to calls from many parliamentarians who urge him to activate the 25e amendment of the Constitution, allowing the sidelining of a president deemed “unfit” to exercise his functions.
Before lashing out against him, the president’s supporters used to salute his loyalty, and his critics to denounce his sycophancy towards the Republican billionaire.
“He’s solid as a rock. He was a fantastic vice-president, ”said Donald Trump again last summer.
Mike Pence, 61, was a calm presence for four years in the midst of Storm Trump.
Appointed at the head of the crisis unit on the coronavirus in March, he stuck all year on the subject to measured remarks, far from the slippages, approximations and provocations of the president. While taking care never to contradict the latter head-on.
Notably, Mike Pence and Donald Trump were not initially particularly close before he appointed him as his running mate in 2016.
Donald Trump would have even considered changing running mate, but ultimately preferred to capitalize on Mike Pence’s close ties to the rather elderly white Christian voters who played a key role in the duo’s victory in 2016.