As rioters descended on the Capitol last month, former president Trump, by all accounts, showed precisely zero concern about the safety of his unswervingly loyal second-in-command — whom he was at that moment pushing to magically overturn the results of the presidential election. In fact, Trump sent a tweet denouncing the veep minutes after Senator Tommy Tuberville informed Trump that Pence had been hustled out of the Senate chamber. (“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” Trump wrote.) There is no indication that Trump ever asked about Pence’s well-being during or after the traumatic affair — during which rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” — and several reports described Pence’s hurt feelings in the aftermath.
It took a few weeks, but Pence seems to be over it — at least publicly.
CNN reports that Pence told a group of Republican lawmakers on Tuesday that not only does he remain close friends with Trump but he has plans to launch a political-action organization defending the administration’s record. And Representative Jim Banks of North Carolina, who was part of the meeting, which was held in Pence’s transition office, said the riot “never came up.” Six weeks out from a potentially near-death experience made possible by your ex-boss? It’s time to let bygones be bygones.
“He spoke very favorably about his relationship with President Trump,” Banks told CNN. “I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years.”
As has long been the case, it’s tough to ascertain to what extent the often inscrutable Pence is genuinely cool with Trump or to what extent his outward support is an act of political calculation. If Pence has any hope of claiming the 2024 nomination, he will likely need to cling to his ex-boss along the way. Not that the possibility is looking too plausible at the moment: Senator Mitt Romney spoke for many when he said on Wednesday that the nomination is Trump’s for the taking.