Sen. James Inhofe said he’d “never seen” Vice President Mike Pence as angry as he was at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after the president blasted him repeatedly for declining to block the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
Inhofe, Oklahoma’s senior senator, said he’s spent more than five decades in politics and has “known Mike Pence forever.” But he told the Tulsa World on Wednesday night that he’d “never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
“I had a long conversation with him,” Inhofe told the paper. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for’ Trump.”
During a Washington rally earlier on Wednesday, Trump told the crowd: “Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you, I will tell you right now.”
Later, after members of the Trump-inspired mob stormed the Capitol, Trump ripped Pence further on Twitter, saying he lacked “courage.”
Pence, who had been one of Trump’s most servile enablers, penned a lengthy letter to Congress on Wednesday that refused to submit to the president’s demands that he reject Biden’s victory.
“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” Pence wrote.
Inhofe, who also had been a steadfast Trump supporter, also told the newspaper the president could have done more to help control the insurrectionists.
Trump “only put out one statement that I’m aware of,” Inhofe said. “This was really a riot. He should have shown more disdain for the rioters. I don’t want to say he should have apologized — that’s not exactly accurate — but he should have expressed more disdain.”