Pence signals he will not oust Trump, but work with President

Vice-President Mike Pence (above) and President Donald Trump agreed that people who broke into the Capitol do not represent Mr Trump's "America First" movement, an official said.
Vice-President Mike Pence (above) and President Donald Trump agreed that people who broke into the Capitol do not represent Mr Trump's "America First" movement, an official said.

WASHINGTON • US Vice-President Mike Pence signalled he will spurn demands to immediately oust Mr Donald Trump over a deadly riot by the President's supporters as the two met on Monday and agreed to work together for the remainder of the term, said a senior administration official.

The discussion adds to indications that Mr Trump has no plans to resign before Mr Joe Biden's Jan 20 inauguration.

It was the first time Mr Trump and Mr Pence have spoken since the President's supporters stormed the Capitol while Mr Pence was presiding over formal affirmation of his re-election defeat, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The two men, meeting in the Oval Office, agreed that people who broke into the Capitol do not represent Mr Trump's "America First" movement and pledged to continue their work on behalf of the country for the remainder of their term, the official said.

It was a good conversation in which Mr Trump and Mr Pence discussed the week ahead and reflected on the last four years of the administration's work, the official added.

House Democrats are seeking to hold Mr Trump accountable for the riot if Mr Pence fails to act against the President.

Lawmakers pushed forward on Monday with their plans to impeach Mr Trump for a second time, introducing a resolution accusing Mr Trump of "incitement of an insurrection".

Mr Pence was initially furious at Mr Trump after hundreds of the President's supporters breached the Capitol last Wednesday, disrupting the count of Electoral College votes and causing the Vice-President and lawmakers to flee the House and Senate chambers.

The episode raised the prospect that Mr Pence might act to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows the vice-president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office - a move encouraged by Democratic members of Congress.

But Mr Pence has privately dismissed the idea as not feasible, according to one person familiar with the matter.

The senior administration official's account of their meeting appeared to put the matter to rest, and also rule out a presidential resignation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2021, with the headline 'Pence signals he will not oust Trump, but work with President'. Subscribe