Donald Trump attacked Mike Pence as “delusional” days after the former vice president was revealed to play a central role in the latest federal indictment against him.
Mr Trump appeared to be trying to do damage control on Truth Social after he was charged with four federal charges related to his alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election and the subsequent attack on the Capitol.
After attacking Special Counsel Jack Smith and the Department of Justice, Mr Trump turned his attention to his former vice president and current 2024 White House opponent.
“Liddle’ Mike Pence, a man who was about to be ousted as Governor Indiana until I came along and made him V.P., has gone to the Dark Side,” Mr Trump wrote on Saturday.
The statement appeared to be in reference to Mr Pence’s more recent outspoken condemnation of Mr Trump’s behaviour leading up to the 6 January riot.
“I never told a newly emboldened (not based on his 2% poll numbers!) Pence to put me above the Constitution or that Mike was ‘too honest.’ He’s delusional, and now he wants to show he’s a tough guy,” Mr Trump added.
The ex-vice president and 2024 candidate has begun selling merchandise that says “Too honest” – something Mr Trump allegedly told Mr Pence after he refused to engage in a scheme to unlawfully decertify election results.
Then in a statement released after Mr Trump’s third criminal indictment, Mr Pence said: “Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.”
While giving a speech in New Hampshire this past week, Mr Pence also responded to a group of Trump supporters who questioned his loyalty to the United States for refusing to unlawfully decertify election results.
The ex-president has maintained that he upheld his duty to the Constitution on 6 January.
Seemingly, Mr Pence is capitalising on Mr Trump’s bad press to make himself appear as the more stable conservative candidate for president.
As Mr Pence tries to appeal to GOP voters, Mr Trump is attempting to discredit the indictment and Mr Pence’s character.
In his Truth Social post, Mr Trump continued: “I once read a major magazine article on Mike. It said he was not a very good person. I was surprised, but the article was right. Sad!”
Mr Pence and Mr Trump worked closely together for the four years they were in office.
Mr Trump’s latest attack comes after prosecutors in the Department of Justice (DoJ) appealed to Judge Tanya Chutkan to issue a protective order preventing Mr Trump and his attorneys from sharing information about the case.
The proposed order directly mentioned Mr Trump’s love of ranting and attacking others on social media as a cause for concern that he could release sensitive information.
At his arraignment on Thursday, Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya reminded Mr Trump: “It is a crime to intimidate or retaliate against anyone for providing information about your case to the prosecution or otherwise obstruct justice.”
When asked if he understand the warning, Mr Trump nodded affirmatively.