After years of taking arrows from Democrats, former Vice President Mike Pence delivered a "fulsome" defense of former President Donald Trump, his administration, and the Republican agenda in an exclusive interview Thursday on Newsmax.
"The American people are not as divided as our politics are," Pence told "The Record With Greta Van Susteren." "People in this country actually get along pretty well."
Pence hailed the Republicans' new majority in the House and pitched his new book "So Help Me God."
"'So Help Me God' has been called the most fulsome defense of the Trump-Pence administration in print," Pence told Van Susteren in a wide-ranging, 20-minute interview. "Obviously the administration didn't end well, but the president and I found a way to part amicably nonetheless. While we've gone our separate ways, I'll be proud of the record of this administration."
Responding to a question of what Trump was like behind closed Oval Office doors, Pence hearkened back to his frequent response.
"Have you ever watched a rally?" Pence said. "One of the things about President Trump is what you see in public is what you also see in private."
Pence began his interview denouncing House Democrat attempts to wage political warfare in Congress, seeking testimony, documents, and tax returns, which he says serves no legislative purpose.
"Congress has to have a legislative purpose for any information they obtain against any American," Pence said, noting the politicization of congressional oversight.
"The good news is help is on the way. We have a new majority coming into the Congress of the United States, and I have every confidence that Speaker Kevin McCarthy and leader Steve Scalise are going to focus ... on the issues really facing the American people and on doing the kind of oversight that frankly hasn't been done."
A GOP-led House has an opportunity to show the American people that Congress can get things done without "relentless" attacks on the political opposition, like the Trump-Pence administration was forced to face, Pence said.
"New management on Capitol Hill should give American people great confidence that we're going to begin to see the Congress focus back not on the left-wing agenda of the Biden administration and the outgoing speaker, but the agenda we advanced in the Trump-Pence years that left America stronger, more prosperous, and frankly had the world more peaceful as a result," he said.
Pence called it "almost inconceivable" that congressional Democrats would leak former President Donald Trump's tax returns. The IRS recently gave six years of former President Trump's federal income tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.
"I would hope not," he continued. "I would hope that they would pass this one test, but after years where we saw the politicization in the Justice Department, the Russia hoax, the Mueller investigation 2½ years, we saw Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff, who routinely said there was evidence of collusion between our campaign in 2016 and Russia — evidence that would never come.
"I have my doubts, but hope springs eternal."
Pence took aim at "suppression" attempts by Democrat operatives in the media, the government, Justice Department, and the allies of President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign.
"At minimum we have a reckless disregard for the truth," Pence said of the intelligence operatives who signed the letter calling the Hunter Biden laptop a Russian disinformation campaign in October 2020 of the presidential election.
"We literally have more than 50 former intelligence officials in the 2020 campaign say with the revelation by The New York Post that Hunter Biden's laptop had been uncovered and issues were raised that it bore all the indicia of Russian disinformation.
"We saw people that had come out of long careers, I think of [former CIA] Director Brennan in particular, and I write about him in my book as well. Came out of long careers in intelligence, CIA and other agencies and then emerged on other networks on a regular basis in our administration with the most reckless accusation."
That was just one way the establishment in Washington, D.C., sought to wage political warfare against the Trump-Pence administration, Pence said.
"The opposition [started] from literally before we were inaugurated by a political class in Washington, D.C., that every single day was propagating these baseless accusations of collusion with Russia, and as soon as that was over, impeaching the president for a phone call," Pence said.
"I mean, literally until the day we left office, the resistance never relented."
As for his own future, Pence stopped short of announcing a 2024 presidential run, but he also demurred at saying who a top contender would be, suggesting he might be someone he considers "a better choice in 2024."
The first objective for the next administration — what he called the greatest challenge — is to get our "fiscal house in order," he concluded.
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