Trump has recently sparred with Mike Pence over whether or not the former vice-president could have done more to overturn Trump's defeat to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race, but on Friday Trump gave an endorsement to Pence's brother in an Indiana congressional race.
Trump's endorsement of Greg Pence, who is seeking a third term as the US House Representative for Indiana's sixth congressional district, is politically intriguing for a number of reasons.
It comes a little more than a year after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and demanded Pence's hanging. A bipartisan Senate committee has linked seven deaths to the attack, which delayed a joint session of Congress to certify Biden's win by several hours.
The endorsement comes a couple of months after Mike Pence, who took a rare stand against the former president, rejected Trump's claim that Pence could reverse Trump's election defeat during the joint congressional session that was temporarily interrupted by the Capitol insurrection.
At one point that day, Secret Service agents tried to drive Pence away from the Capitol, where he was tasked with leading lawmakers' certification of the presidential election results. Pence wouldn't leave, signalling his opposition to the mob's goal of keeping Trump in power, the Maryland Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin, who serves on a House panel investigating the Capitol attack, said recently.
President Trump is wrong, according to National Public Radio NPR, Pence told a conservative Federalist Society in February that they had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone. There is no idea more un-American than the idea that one person could choose the American president. When asked later about his brother's remarks, Greg Pence stopped short of agreeing with him, highlighting how reluctant Republicans are to speak out against Trump, while it remains unclear how much power his still-coveted endorsements carry.
Greg Pence told NPR that I stand by my brother and always will, and I ll let him speak for himself about his remarks.
Greg Pence voted against referring criminal contempt charges against Trump aides Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino to the US justice department earlier this month. Congress made the referral.
That stance on Friday helped the Republican Congressman make a statement from Trump: Greg Pence has my complete and total endorsement! Trump applauded Greg Pence for opposing Biden's immigration policies on the southern border, keeping guns accessible, opposing abortion and supporting the military.
Greg Pence's office did not issue a statement immediately after Trump endorsed him. The former Marine Corps veteran is facing a challenger in James Dean Alspach in the Republican primary on May 3rd.
The victor would advance to the 8 November runoff against the winner of the Democratic primary, whose candidates are Cynthia Wirth and George Thomas Holland.