Former Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short tells ‘Special Report’ that former President Trump received months of bad advice from allies before Capitol riot.
BAIER: Sure. There’s a lot to unpack here, Marc.
I don’t want to relive January 6 too much, but this is a unique perspective. And we haven’t heard, obviously, from the former vice president. He didn’t hear from President Trump for a couple of days, from all that we have heard.
And the thing that — the tweet that happened was: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country, to our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a correct set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth” — as he was making the case, tweeting that out as the vice president is being evacuated from Capitol Hill, and people are chanting, hang Pence.
You have, I assumed, talk to the vice president about this moment and that kind of interaction. What is his feeling about former President Trump and that moment of time?
SHORT: Well, Bret, I think that they forged a close friendship over four years and accomplished a lot for the American people.
I think, unfortunately, the president received some really bad advice in the last couple of months of the administration and, sadly, from senior staff who should have known better.
But the reality is that, since that day, the vice president was clear leading into January 6 as to what he viewed his constitutional responsibilities to be. And the notion that any limited government conservative would suggest that our founders wanted any one person to be able to unilaterally decide what electors to accept or reject is foolishness.
But, despite their differences, the reality is that they have had multiple conversations before departed. The president thanked the vice president for his service, told him he did a great job. And they have even had conversations since then, including even this week.
And so, look, there’s a lot they accomplished together, and they should — they should be proud about. But, clearly, on January 6, there was a difference of opinion about what the vice president’s role would be, and regret that I think that the president was misled by some advisers.
So, just wrapping it up, they have mended ties, the former vice president and the former president, the conversations that you have said have happened? And do you feel like the party can come together, the Mitch McConnell side and the Trump side?
SHORT: I think so.
Look, President Trump brought in millions of voters to the Republican Party. His agenda was, I think, incredibly beneficial to — for our country. And I think that that agenda is something that we need to be pursuing. We need to be pursuing the policies that provided enormous growth for our economy, the policies that made us more secure on the world stage.
Those are the things that — and, as well, I think he’s the first president that really took on China in a meaningful way. And those are the policies that I think, merged with traditional Republicans, provide a winning coalition.
But focusing our attention what the Democrats are doing and how their agenda would unwind all that is where we should be talking, as opposed to the inner party squabbles.
When I first worked for Mike Pence, he was conference chairman for House Republicans. In 2010, we won 63 seats, the most ever in a midterm. And he was consistent in providing messages for fellow Republicans about how we stay together and united against the Obama/Biden/Pelosi/Schumer agenda.
That’s what we need again.
BAIER: Marc Short, we appreciate your time and your insight tonight.
SHORT: Thanks, Bret.