Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Pence risks Trumps wrath by piling on criticisms of ex-president in new book

Pence risks Trumps wrath by piling on criticisms of ex-president in new book


Pence risks Trumps wrath by piling on criticisms of ex-president in new book

In his new book, Donald Trump's vice-president, Mike Pence, protests his loyalty to his former boss but also levels criticisms that will acquire new potency as Trump prepares to announce another presidential run and the Republican party debates whether to stay loyal after disappointment in last week's midterm elections.

According to Pence, Trump mishandled his response to a march staged by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville in August 2017, a costly error that Pence says could have been avoided had Pence called Trump before a fateful press conference in which Trump failed to condemn "the racists and antisemites in Charlottesville by name".

Also in Pence's judgment, "there was no reason for Trump not to call out Russia's bad behaviour" early in his term while beset by investigations of Russian election interference on Trump's behalf and links between Trump and Moscow.

"Acknowledging Russian meddling," Pence writes, would not have "somehow cheapen[ed] our victory" over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Pence does not stop there. Among other judgments which may anger his former boss, he says Trump's claimed "perfect call" to Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine in 2019, the subject of Trump's first impeachment after he withheld military aid in search of political dirt, was in fact "less than perfect" - if not, in Pence's judgment, impeachable.

Pence also says that in January 2021 he urged Trump to make a farewell address to the nation and to encourage unity after the deadly Capitol attack he says Trump incited, the subject of Trump's second impeachment. Trump remains unrepentant.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the thrice-married, genital-grabbing, greed-worshipping Trump does not appear to have taken the advice to pray or be prayed for. A few days after the conversation about a farewell address, Pence writes, he "reminded" Trump "that I was praying for him".

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