Distancing himself further from Trump, Mike Pence praises journalists who 'never stopped reporting' about the Capitol riot and says they 'keep us a democracy'
In a rare GOP move in this current climate, former VP Mike Pence praised journalists for reporting on the Capitol riot.
Reporters covering the attack helped lawmakers "stay at our post" during the vote certification, Pence said.
Pence is one of several Republicans expected to launch a presidential bid alongside former President Trump.
Former Vice President Mike Pence did a rare thing for members of today's Republican party — he praised the media for its thorough reporting on the January 6 Capitol riot.
"The American people have a right to know what took place at the Capitol on January 6, and I expect members of the fourth estate to continue to do their job," Pence said at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, DC, on Saturday night, according to CNN.
Pence repeated his argument that former President Donald Trump was "wrong" when, leading up to and on January 6, 2021, he claimed that the vice president had the ability to overturn the 2020 election results.
"President Trump was wrong. I had no right to overturn the election, and his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day," Pence said Saturday, per CNN. "I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable."
Addressing the press, he added: "We were able to stay at our post, in part, because you stayed at your post. The American people know what happened that day because you never stopped reporting."
Pence became one of a few Republicans to acknowledge the media's key role in reporting on the assault on the seat of the government, New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman pointed out on Twitter. Since the attack, most Republicans have channeled their initial outrage into criticisms of Democratic-led investigations, suggesting the riot was "legitimate political discourse" and that the rioters were "patriotic."
Over 1,000 people have been criminally charged in the Capitol insurrection, and over 475 have pleaded guilty.
"For what you do to preserve and strengthen this great democracy, you have my heartfelt thanks and I know the thanks of a grateful nation. Thanks for what you do to preserve freedom," Pence said to reporters on Saturday, according to CNN.
He is one of several Republicans expected to enter the 2024 presidential race, which currently includes GOP candidates Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy.
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