Donald Trump Called Mike Pence “The P-Word” For Not Illegally Overturning The Election, According To Jan. 6 Committee Testimony

Both Ivanka Trump and a former Trump attorney described the conversation as “heated.”

A projected image of Donald Trump appears on a screen above a panel of people in a packed room in the Capitol

In a phone call just before rioters marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump called Mike Pence a pussy as the former president pressured him to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to testimony revealed Thursday at a hearing of the Jan. 6 committee.

Julia Radford, the former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump, said in a previously recorded deposition that the former president's daughter was in the Oval Office and witnessed an “upsetting” phone conversation between her father and Pence. The former president called Pence “the p-word,” Radford said Ivanka Trump told her.

That part of their conversation was previously reported by the New York Times, but Thursday marked the fullest accounting yet of how Trump spoke to his vice president on the day of the insurrection. Details about the tense phone call came from various Trump administration insiders, whose testimony was part of the committee’s presentation focusing on Trump’s campaign to use Pence to call the election in his favor — something multiple witnesses agreed the then–vice president had no legal authority to do. Videos played on Thursday also showed former Trump attorney Eric Herschmann and Ivanka Trump testifying that while they could not hear Pence’s side of the Jan. 6 phone call with the former president, the conversation had become “heated.”

Donald Trump continued to pressure Mike Pence leading up to the Joint Session of Congress. On January 6, Trump called Pence. Here's what the President family members and staff said about that call:

Twitter: @January6thCmte

Video of a previous deposition of Nicholas Luna, a former assistant to Trump, also included his recollection of what Trump said on the phone call, which he overheard as he was delivering a note to the Oval Office.

“I remember hearing the word 'wimp,' either he called him a wimp, I don't remember if he said ‘you are a wimp’ [or] ‘you’ll be a wimp.’ 'Wimp' is the word I remember,” Luna said.

Famously, Trump would go out to tell his supporters he’d be “very disappointed” if Pence didn’t “come through.” When the vice president declined to take part in the coup attempt, Trump tweeted that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” Meanwhile, rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” and one confidential informant connected to the far-right Proud Boys said they were prepared to kill him, the committee’s Rep. Pete Aguilar revealed on Thursday.

Mike and Karen Pence, both wearing masks, are seen in a picture projected on a large screen above a panel in a room in the Capitol building

The fringe theory that Pence had the authority to reject Electoral College ballots or send them back to the states came from attorney John Eastman, who a federal judge previously said “more likely than not” committed felony crimes with Trump in their attempts to undermine the election. (Eastman requested a presidential pardon, the committee revealed on Thursday.) The hearing also tried to debunk the false notion that Pence had any constitutional power to change the election results and brought in witnesses, including a prominent conservative judge, to discredit the false claims from Trump and Eastman.

“That declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America,” retired federal judge Michael Luttig testified.

Here is what various advisors to President Trump thought about the scheme to overturn the election:

Twitter: @January6thCmte

Testimony from several witnesses also suggested the White House statement dated Jan. 5, which read, "The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act,” was a mischaracterization of conversations between him and the former vice president. Pence’s former attorney Greg Jacob testified that the “vice president never budged from the position I have described as his first instinct, which was that it just made no sense from everything that he knew and had studied about our Constitution, that one person would have that kind of authority.”

The committee also detailed Pence’s movements after rioters breached the Capitol. Newly released photos showed him in the secure area of the building, where he was held as rioters called for his death. The vice president remained there for hours until he could safely return to preside over the certification of the election, and the photos showed he used the time to work: making phone calls and reaching out to senior government officials.

Once the riot began, Trump never called Pence. But Jacob, while in the secure location with Pence, sent an angry email to Eastman, closing the note with: “Thanks to your bullshit we are now under siege.”