Former vice president Mike Pence leveled critiques of both his old boss and the Lincoln Project in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
According to Pence, a video released by the progressive political action committee implied that Pence would have the ability to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, but would choose not to.
“On January 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin, when he presides over the Senate vote to prove Joe Biden won. It’s over, and Mike Pence knows it,” intones the video’s narrator.
The Lincoln Project ad “was the first time anyone implied I might be able to change the outcome” of the election and “was designed to annoy the president,” per Pence, who noted that it achieved its objective.
Trump told Pence the ad “looked bad” for the vice president and later retweeted an article that implied that “if all else failed,” Pence “could alter the outcome of the election on Jan. 6.” The revelation from Pence confirmed the reporting of Axios‘s Jonathan Swan, who wrote in December 2020 that “a source who spoke to Trump said the president was complaining about Pence and brought up a Lincoln Project ad that claims that Pence is ‘backing away’ from Trump.”
The Lincoln Project was originally presented by its founders — including Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and George Conway — as a conservative anti-Trump group, but its purpose quickly expanded to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. It even targeted moderate Republicans, such as Maine senator Susan Collins, with little success in the 2020 elections. The groups has also been made infamous for its leaders’ cover-up of Weaver’s sexual misconduct and its financial mismanagement of donors’ funds.
In his Journal op-ed, which is an excerpt of Pence’s forthcoming memoir, So Help Me God, the former vice president expressed his support for debate of reported irregularities during the 2020 election on January, but claimed that he repeatedly told Trump that he would not overturn the election.
“I reiterated that I didn’t believe I had the power to decide which electoral votes would count and said I would be issuing a statement to Congress confirming that before the joint session started,” wrote Pence. “The president laid into me. ‘You’ll go down as a wimp,’ he said. ‘If you do that, I made a big mistake five years ago!'”