Trump Confirms Pence Partnership Is Over: ‘I Was Disappointed’

“I was disappointed in Mike,” President Donald Trump said of former Vice President Mike Pence.

“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end,” Trump continued. “We had a very good relationship. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”

“I still like Mike,” Trump said, adding that he’s “a really fine person.” On balance, however, Trump’s comments were mostly cold and critical.

When asked about tapping Pence again as a running mate, Trump said, “I don’t think the people would accept it.”

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Pence refused to act on allegations of widespread voter fraud by contending the results of the election during the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

As Senate president, Pence was presiding over the certification proceedings but refused to act. He claimed the Constitution granted him no such authority. Trump continues to insist otherwise.

As evidence of Trump’s point, there are ongoing bipartisan discussions on Capitol Hill to reform the Electoral Count Act.

More on this story via Washington Examiner:

Pence is considering a 2024 bid. He has let it be known he would not automatically stand aside if Trump ran and has accelerated efforts to establish his independence from the former president. Pence recently told a gathering of conservative lawyers Trump is flat “wrong” to claim the vice president is constitutionally empowered to throw out the results of a presidential election. Pence also took aim at Trump in a March speech to Republican donors.

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“There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” he said during remarks to party financiers gathered for a Republican National Committee donor retreat, adding later: “We cannot win by fighting yesterday’s battles or by relitigating the past.”

Trump has often praised Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical acumen and hesitated to criticize him directly, although the former president told the Washington Examiner he was “surprised” the Russian strongman invaded Ukraine and declared “he’s very much changed.” Meanwhile, Trump argued that shifting the GOP’s focus to the 2022 midterm elections, and 2024, would be a political mistake, saying that resolving what happened in the 2020 election matters most to Republican primary voters.

Trump, throughout his political career, has often feuded with close associates — even appearing to excommunicate them from his inner circle, only to welcome them back later with open arms.

That is always a possibility with Pence. The two developed a close and productive working relationship in 2016 after Trump tapped the Indiana governor and former 12-year House member to be his running mate. He gave Pence an unusual amount of autonomy to operate politically and shape his administration’s agenda. In return, Pence gave Trump near-unquestioned loyalty, at least publicly.

Amid Trump’s repeated criticism of Pence Tuesday during his conversation with the Washington Examiner, the former president occasionally signaled that he retains at least some level of appreciation for the vice president who served him. “I still like Mike,” Trump said. But on balance, Trump’s comments were cold and critical.