Former President Donald Trump stressed that former Vice President Mike Pence “greatly disappointed” him by not overturning his 2020 election loss when asked about the possibility of facing his former running mate in 2024.
Trump made the remarks during a Monday phone interview on The John Fredricks Show. The former president was asked about a New York Times report published hours earlier, which included a Pence quote suggesting that he might attempt to challenge Trump in the next presidential election.
Trump did not directly comment on the possibility of facing off against Pence but instead repeated his grievances about the former vice president’s refusal to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in Congress on January 6, 2021. Despite a lack of credible supporting evidence, Trump has continued to falsely claim that the election was “stolen.”
“I’m very disappointed in Mike, as a lot of people are,” Trump said. “He’s just very greatly disappointed me. He had a great opportunity and all he had to do was just send it back to the legislatures, let them decide… So I’m very disappointed at the stance he took.”
“We’ll have to see what it all happens,” he added. “But all I know is this: Our country has probably never been worse than it is now.”
Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, appearing as a guest during the show’s live recording in Georgia, then told the former president that the “worst thing” Pence had done to him was to stick “the knife not in your back, but in your chest.”
In addition to speaking out against Pence, Trump urged the audience to vote for his endorsed Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, who was also a guest on the show. Polls continue to show Perdue far behind Georgia Governor Brian Kemp one day ahead of the Republican primary.
Trump and Pence have been at increasing odds with each other since they left office. The feud has escalated recently due to Pence making several symbolic moves away from Trump, including recently deciding to campaign with Kemp, who Trump has denounced as a “RINO” (Republican in name only) for failing to overturn his 2020 loss in Georgia.
“Mike Pence was set to lose a governor’s race in 2016 before he was plucked up and his political career was salvaged,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told The New York Times on Monday. “Now, desperate to chase his lost relevance, Pence is parachuting into races, hoping someone is paying attention.”
“The reality is, President Trump is already 82-3 with his endorsements, and there’s nothing stopping him from saving America in 2022 and beyond,” Budowich added.
Trump’s claim that Pence had the power to overturn the 2020 results has been contradicted by multiple fact checks. During a February Federalist Society speech in Florida, Pence also insisted that he could not have overturned the election, while taking aim at Trump for making what he called an “un-American” suggestion.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” Pence said during the speech. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
Newsweek reached out to the offices of Pence and Trump for comment.
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