Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that he should support former Vice President Mike Pence’s bid for the White House after the latter withdrew from the race for the Republican nomination earlier in the day.
“I was a very successful president and he was vice president, so he should support me,” said Trump, who is a front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024. “I chose him and appointed him vice president. But…people in politics can be very dishonest. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Pence was a loyal soldier of Trump during his time in office, but in his capacity as vice president to oversee Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory, Pence succumbed to his boss’ pressure campaign to block the results of the 2020 election. He refused, incurring the wrath of Mr. Trump.
During the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, President Trump tweeted that Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what needed to be done to protect our country and our Constitution.” Video from the Capitol during the riot shows a man with a bullhorn reading tweets to other rioters. Inside, rioters swarmed the hallways, chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”
Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told a House committee on January 6 of last year: Mr. Trump had proposed to Mr. Meadows. Two people familiar with the matter told CNN that he approved the “Follow Mike Pence” chant.Trump too Seems to be defending the January 6th threat. done to pence recorded interview “People were so angry,” said a 2021 book by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.
During the Republican primary campaign, Mr. Trump blasted Mr. Pence, calling him “delusional” and “not a very good person.”
“Wow, it finally happened! Riddle Mike Pence, the guy who was about to be ousted as governor of Indiana until I came along and made him vice president, turned to the dark side,” Trump said. As mentioned in the Truth Social post In August.
Mr. Pence has criticized the former president over the events surrounding January 6, writing in his memoir that he told Mr. Trump shortly afterward, “I was angry and what I saw that day infuriated me.” . He said Trump was “wrong” to claim that Pence had the authority to overturn the 2020 election results and that “history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”
President Trump continues to falsely claim that Pence had the power to overturn the results. Pence’s team did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier in the day, Trump spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Summit and said Biden was not doing enough to combat anti-Semitism across the United States. battle between israel and hamas. The former president also reaffirmed his steadfast support for Israel and Jewish Americans in the wake of the backlash against Israel. His recent criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking before a gathering of top Republican donors, Trump refrained from repeating critical comments from earlier this month about Netanyahu being unprepared and drawn into the Hamas attack. Instead, he focused his speech on Biden-bashing, arguing that the president is responsible for the current Israel-Hamas conflict and that Americans are less safe under his leadership.
The former president accused Biden of “turning a blind eye to the greatest outbreak of anti-Semitism in American history.”he also blamed pro-palestine demonstration It is held all over the country, including on university campuses. Trump singled out Democratic congressmen. Rashida Tlaib Ilhan Omar of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have criticized Israel’s military actions and called for a ceasefire as the war’s death toll continues to rise.
“As President, I will absolutely protect the Jewish people from lunatics, lunatics, and far-left thugs. Threats and violent crimes against Jews will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Joe Biden’s weakness led to the attack on Israel,” President Trump said, continuing to insist that his successor in the White House is not respected on the world stage.
Trump and his team faced significant backlash earlier this month when the former president criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“(Prime Minister Netanyahu) was very hurt by what happened here. He wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready, and Israel wasn’t ready. There wasn’t,” President Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade in an Oct. 11 interview.
Trump went even further that evening at a campaign event in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Whether it’s talking about intelligence or talking about some of the things that went wrong last week, they’re dealing with potentially very large forces and they have to get it right,” the former president said. . He described the Lebanese militia Hezbollah as “very smart.”
His campaign immediately began damage control, issuing a series of statements praising the Trump administration’s efforts in the Middle East. “#IstandWithIsrael #IstandWithBibi,” the former president posted on his own Truth Social platform.
In an interview with the right-wing Washington Free Beacon published on Saturday, Trump said he had a “very good relationship” with Netanyahu when he was president and that he would have “no problem” working together again. ” he said.
“I support Israel first and foremost,” Trump said, adding that he supports expanding U.S. military aid to Israel during its war with Hamas.
Trump, who has a history of using anti-Semitic metaphors, came under fire last month from the Anti-Defamation League and others. After sharing a flyer on Truth Social He claimed that liberal Jews who did not support him “voted to destroy America and Israel.” Trump has long criticized Jewish American voters who do not support him.
On Saturday, the former president continued to incite fear He spoke about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States, which is pushing hard-line immigration policies, including reinstating a controversial travel ban targeting some Muslim-majority countries.
Trump previously said he would revoke student visas and deport “extremely anti-American and anti-Semitic aliens” if elected president, but he later proposed this at a campaign event in Las Vegas. seems to have been further expanded.
“We will terminate the visas of all Hamas supporters, expel them from university campuses and cities, and expel them from the country altogether, if you will,” he said.
The White House issued a statement on Saturday condemning President Trump’s travel ban as “despicable” and “un-American,” saying, “American Muslims and Arab Americans are increasingly trapped in their position.” “The need to unite against this fetid hatred is more urgent than ever.” He became the target of horrific slurs and heartbreaking violence. ”
Other 2024 presidential candidates who attended Saturday’s Republican Jewish Coalition rally also sought to position themselves as strong allies of Israel, condemning calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and encouraging pro-Palestinian protests. He expressed support for revoking the visas of U.S. international students who participate in the activities. .
Former South Carolina Governor nikki haley He said calls for a ceasefire in Gaza were “the worst kind of insult”. Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, also criticized her former boss over his criticism of Netanyahu and his comments about Hezbollah.
“As president, I am not going to praise Hezbollah. Nor am I going to criticize the prime minister of Israel, who is in the midst of tragedy and war. We have no time for personal vendettas.” she said.
governor of florida Ron DeSantis He touted the fact that he was the first Republican candidate to call for the revocation of student visas for people who sympathize with Hamas.
“I don’t care what the idiots on college campuses say. I don’t care what the liars in the media say. I don’t care what the thugs at the United Nations say. We are Israel. We stand with the people of Israel,” DeSantis said.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott accused Democrats of espousing anti-Semitism, saying they would not “provide any aid or comfort to terrorist killers, whether through words, actions, or association with terrorist-like groups. We ask that any member of Congress who provides support be expelled.” [Democratic Socialists of America]”
Several attendees at the summit told CNN that Haley was their first choice for the Republican nomination because they believed she had a better chance of winning than Trump. But they also said they were resigned to the idea that Trump was likely to be the Republican nominee next year unless there were major swings in the race.
“I think she’s reasonable and electable,” said summit attendee Michael Traeger. He said he likes some of the things Trump has accomplished as president, but “I’d like a little less drama and a little more action.”
Nancy Burdon described the former South Carolina governor as “more of a moderate,” “respectable” and “the kind of candidate that a lot of people could get behind.”
“Obviously, Trump is the front-runner and he has all the brand names. Personally, I love Nikki Haley. I think she’s a straight shooter and an outspoken person,” “I think Republican voters need to think seriously about the endgame,” Burdon said.
Alan Herman, another attendee, said he would like to see the first female president of the United States elected.
Herman said, “I think it’s time to move on. I think it’s time to stop denying the election and let someone new take office. I think it would be great to have a female president.” But he, like many others, said he thought Trump would probably win the nomination.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi, Ebony Davis, Kit Maher and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.