Following the third anniversary of the January 6 riot at the Capitol, former Vice President Mike Pence denounced the claim that the FBI was behind the attack, CNN reported.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on January 7, Pence told host Jake Tapper that watching rioters break windows and ransack the Capitol “infuriated” him. He said of the conspiracy theory that the FBI orchestrated the attack that we had been repeatedly assured “that it was not the case.”
Pence expressed his gratitude to the FBI for the bureau’s efforts to track down and arrest those who “ransacked our Capitol” and attacked police officers during the riot and said that those who were involved in the attack should be prosecuted to “the fullest extent of the law.”
The former vice president, who was in the Capitol at the time of the riot, said the attack “should never have happened.” He described Donald Trump’s words on that day as “reckless” and said history would judge Trump for “his role in that.”
According to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll released on January 4, 25 percent of respondents said the FBI “probably” instigated the Capitol riot. Broken down by party, 34 percent of Republicans, 30 percent of Independents, and only 13 percent of Democrats believe the FBI played a part in orchestrating the January 6 riot.
Pence said those who would believe the FBI was involved just needed to look at the “great hardship and great harm” that was endured by the police officers at the Capitol that day to know it wasn’t true.
Pence said the Republican primaries would give Republican voters a chance to “give our party a fresh start” and choose “new leadership” that can move the party forward.
During the attack, rioters called for the death of then-Vice President Pence after he refused to unilaterally reject state electors as Trump demanded. Secret Service agents were forced to rush Pence from the Senate chamber to safety while Donald Trump watched the riot on TV in the White House.
Pence reportedly did not speak to Donald Trump for several days following the riot.