Mike Pence Reportedly Calls & Congratulates Kamala Harris, Offers Assistance
Per an individual briefed on the matter, Pence and Harris had a “good call,” with Pence offering his assistance with the transition process.
The conversation marked the first contact between officials from President Donald Trump’s administration and the incoming Joe Biden administration.
“Pence’s call to his successor is a continuation of the traditional show of comity between outgoing and incoming leaders that Trump has flouted. In 2008, then-Vice President Dick Cheney called Biden to congratulate him the night of his win and invited Biden and his wife, Jill, to tour the vice presidential residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory shortly before the 2009 inauguration.”
Trump has neither reached out to Biden, not invited him to the White House, violating longstanding norms and traditions.
The commander-in-chief has spent the past several months disputing Biden’s victory in the 2020 election and alleging, without evidence, widespread voter fraud.
As he was seeking to overturn the results of the race, Trump put pressure on Pence. This culminated on January 6, when he demanded that Pence interfere in Congress’ certification of the Electoral College, which he had no authority to do.
On that day, a violent group of pro-Trump protesters clashed with law enforcement and forcefully invaded the U.S. Capitol Building. Some of them angrily chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they searched for the second-in-command.
Trump was accused of inspiring the riots and inciting violence, with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle condemning his behavior.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives impeached him earlier this week, though it remains unclear if he will be convicted by the GOP-controlled Senate.
As The Associated Press noted, since the shocking events of January 6, Trump has stayed out of the spotlight with Pence fulfilling the ceremonial duties of the presidency.
On Thursday, FBI and other law enforcement agencies briefed Pence on inauguration security. He also met with members of the National Guard protecting the Capitol.
In 2016, after Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Biden had lunch with Pence and vowed to assist him in any way necessary.
“I told Mike, the vice president-elect, that I’m available to him 24/7. I plan on being available to Mike as senior staff for him as he moves,” Biden said at the time.
It remains unclear whether the Republican will extend the same courtesy to Harris, but he will reportedly attend the inauguration.