Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly told a group of lawmakers Tuesday that he maintains a close friendship with former President Donald Trump, despite the alleged drama between the two toward the end of the administration.
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, told CNN that a group of committee members met at Pence’s transition office on Tuesday afternoon to talk about the way forward for the party.
The congressman said that Trump’s actions ahead of the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol “never came up.”
Pence expresses no ill will towards Trump over the January 6 riot, where rioters stormed the Capitol with many looking for Pence who was presiding over the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory. In fact, Trump’s actions ahead of the riot “never came up,” Banks said.
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“He spoke very favorably about his relationship with President Trump,” Banks told CNN.
“I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years.”
Banks said that Pence, who had chaired the RSC when he was a member of the House, made comparisons of the current political dynamic to that of 2009.
“He talked about how in 2009, the new Democrat President, Democrat House, Democrat Senate — how similar that moment was to this moment,” Banks told CNN.
“A massive spending deal Democrats pushed in 2009 that overreached, every single [House] Republican voted against in 2009. That sure looks like the $1.9 trillion bill that’s on the floor this week.”
“The more Democrats overreach, the more likely we are going to have a 2010 type midterm to win back the majority,” Banks added. “He sort of senses the similarity in that moment to this moment.”
Pence also declined an invitation to speak at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, but Banks expects him to be more visible in the upcoming months.
“He’ll be launching an organization defending the successful Trump-Pence record of the last four years,” Banks said.
Earlier this month, Pence announced that he had joined The Heritage Foundation as a distinguished visiting fellow.
“The Heritage Foundation helped shape my conservative philosophy for decades and played a pivotal role advancing conservative policies throughout the Trump Administration,” Pence said in a news release on the foundation’s website.
“I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with the all-star team at Heritage as we continue to take the case for a strong national defense, free markets and traditional values to policymakers across the Nation and to every American who cherishes our Heritage of Freedom.”
The news release confirmed that Pence will be advising experts on public policy issues, delivering speeches on such issues and contributing to a monthly column for The Daily Signal.
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