CJR Staff
July 16, 2023

Carlson pushes back on Pence over Jan. 6 riots

Former Fox News Host Tucker Carlson completely owned former Vice President Mike Pence, who is now running to become the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Carlson grilled Pence over the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol building, asking Pence whether he believed it was an "insurrection."

He wanted Pence to answer with his thoughts on whether or not the riot was in fact an "insurrection" like the establishment media has claimed for the past two years.

Carlson Gets Clarity

Carlson asked Pence his thoughts on the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, just as Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

He asked Pence, "I have to ask you since you were a witness to, and in some way a participant in one of the most widely covered events in American history, January 6. What was that? Do you think that was an insurrection?"

Pence answered, "Well first … as to that day, all I know for sure having lived through it at the Capitol, is that it was a tragic day. I’ve never used the word 'insurrection,' Tucker, over the last two years. It was a riot that took place at the capitol that day."

The former VP continued, "I saw firsthand where they’d evacuated us down to the loading dock, below the Senate chamber, police officers that as the day wore on were streaming through — 150 law enforcement officers that were assaulted. Obviously, the tragic loss of life ransacking the capitol that occurred. But I really do believe that a day of tragedy became a triumph for freedom. And I’ll always believe that by God’s grace I did my duty that day under the Constitution of the United States of America and our institutions held."

Carlson asked, "When you say ‘the tragic loss of life,’ who are you referring to?"

Pence said, "Well obviously Ashli Babbitt would come to mind immediately. When I think of–"

Carlson interjected, "What do you think about the fact that she was shot?"

Pence answered, "Well, I just think it was a tragic moment without question. But I have to tell you that seeing people assaulting law enforcement officers, smashing windows, breaking into the capitol building — it infuriated me. It’s very likely that the restraint shown by law enforcement officers saved lives that day. But I think it’s important that we hold those accountable who perpetrated acts of violence and vandalism in our nation’s capitol. But also, I’m still waiting for equal vigor and equal prosecutions for those that brought hundreds of [Black Lives Matter] riots to cities across America."

Pence went on to call Donald Trump's words "reckless."

"I believe whatever [Trump’s] intentions in that moment, it endangered me and my family and everybody that was at the capitol that day," said Pence. "I believe history will hold Trump accountable for that just as the law will hold everyone accountable that engaged in acts of violence."

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