In the March interview for his upcoming book, former president Donald Trump blasted ex-vice president Mike Pence for lacking "courage" and dubbed Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell a "knucklehead" and "a stupid person."
Trump spoke about the final days of the Trump administration with the authors of "I Alone Can Fix It," who provided an excerpt from the book to Vanity Fair, at his Mar-a-Lago estate several months ago. In the interview, the ex-commander-in chief reportedly reiterated his claims that the 2020 presidential election was "rigged and it was stolen," calling it "the greatest fraud ever perpetrated in this country," and lashed out at those who, in his opinion, failed to restore justice.
While Trump slammed former attorney general Bill Barr for failing to do anything about it, it was the president's number two who lacked the courage to do "what was right," according to an excerpt.
"Had [ex-vice president] Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures, you would have had a different outcome, in my opinion," Trump said. "I think that the vice president of the United States must protect the Constitution of the United States."
“I don’t believe he’s just supposed to be a statue who gets these votes from the states and immediately hands them over. If you see fraud, then I believe you have an obligation to do one of a number of things," the ex-president added.
Trump reportedly recalled the case of Thomas Jefferson and the 1800 election, when the counting of votes in Georgia nearly cost him his victory, adding that when Jefferson found that the Georgia vote certificate was defective, he said that "we will take the votes from the great state of Georgia" and "he took them for him and the president."
“So I said, ‘Mike, you can be Thomas Jefferson or you can be Mike Pence,’" Trump said of Pence's response to the 2020 election scandals.
"He’s a stupid person. I don’t think he’s smart enough," Trump claimed. "I tried to convince Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibuster, to terminate it, so that we would get everything, and he was a knucklehead and he didn’t do it."
The authors also claimed that he had wanted his supporters to gather outside the Capitol but never intended for them to go inside.
"In all fairness, the Capitol Police were ushering people in," he continued. "The Capitol Police were very friendly. They were hugging and kissing. You don’t see that. There’s plenty of tape on that."
"Personally, what I wanted is what they wanted," the former president added of the people who stormed the Capitol. "They showed up just to show support because I happen to believe the election was rigged at a level like nothing has ever been rigged before. There’s tremendous proof. There’s tremendous proof. Statistically, it wasn’t even possible that [Biden] won. Things such as, if you win Florida and Ohio and Iowa, there’s never been a loss."
On Monday, The Daily Mail published photos reportedly showing Trump's Secret Service agents taking paintings of the former president with the caption "I am who I am" inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, NYC.