Former Vice President Mike Pence told Tucker Carlson that what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was “a riot” and insisted he’s “never used the word ‘insurrection’” to describe it in the past two years.
The former Fox News host interviewed Pence on Friday and asked, point blank, “Do you think that was an insurrection?” at the Family Leadership Summit, a conservative Christian gathering, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Pence said all he knew “for sure having lived through it” is that “it was a tragic day.”
He added: “I’ve never used the word insurrection, Tucker, over the last two years. But it was a riot that took place at the Capitol that day.”
The Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has been referred to as both an “insurrection” and a “riot” since it happened more than two and a half years ago.
The difference is that an insurrection is “an organized and usually violent act of revolt or rebellion against an established government,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica, while a riot is considered more random — an important distinction if, like Carlson, you want to promote the events of Jan. 6 as a peaceful protest that got out of hand.
But while Pence was willing to semantically agree with Carlson, he did remind the former talk show host and the audience of the danger he faced that day because of his boss, former president Donald Trump.
“I knew that my duty was clear that day. But candidly, as I’ve said before, you know, President Trump’s words that day were reckless, I believe. Whatever his intentions in that moment, it endangered me and my family and everyone that was at the Capitol that day,” Pence said. “I believe history will hold him accountable for that just as the law will hold everyone that, that engaged in acts of violence.”