- Pence’s ex-chief of staff says there were “no safeguards” in the White House ahead of January 6.
- “Unfortunately, I think the president had some really, really bad advice,” Marc Short told journalist David Drucker.
- Short spoke to Drucker for his forthcoming book “In Trump’s Shadow” on the future of the GOP.
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff says there were “no safeguards” in the White House leading up to the January 6 insurrection as Trump repeatedly received bad advice about the results of the 2020 election.
Marc Short, Pence’s longtime right-hand man, spoke to Washington Examiner journalist and author David Drucker for Drucker’s forthcoming book “In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP,” a copy of which Insider obtained ahead of its October 19 publication by Twelve Books.
“Unfortunately, I think the president had some really, really bad advice,” Short told Drucker. “The way the White House was structured at that point was that those people giving that really, really bad advice were given carte blanche access to the president, and I think there were no safeguards in the way the White House was being run at that point.”
While Short didn’t name names, previously reporting n books like Wolff’s “Landslide” and Michael Bender’s “Frankly We Did Win This Election” detailed the vacuum of advisers in the White House.
By January 6, Wolff wrote in his book, many administration officials and White House staffers had quit or distanced themselves from the action.
They left only a small circle of aides who were still involved in Trump’s day-to-day activities. The White House counsel’s office being largely checked out left Rudy Giuliani as Trump’s main legal confidante, and created an opening for conspiracy theorists like lawyer Sidney Powell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to get Trump’s ear and promote conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was rigged.
Giuliani, in particular, became obsessed and fixated on the idea that Pence, in his ceremonial role facilitating the counting of Electoral College votes on January 6, could somehow preclude Congress from affirming President Joe Biden’s election victory. The conspiracy theory culminated in a legally dubious memo from legal scholar John Eastman.
“We researched all of those, and I think very fastidiously wanted to be respectful of new perspectives that we were brought, but always felt strongly that no limited-government conservative would ever advocate that one person could unilaterally choose what electors to accept or reject,” Short told Drucker.
Giuliani and Powell have faced real-world consequences within the legal profession for using the courts to propagate those lies, and all three are being sued for defamation for $US1.2 ($AU2) billion each by Dominion Voting Systems for baselessly claiming the company’s voting machines were central to a ploy to steal the election.
Drucker details how years before the insurrection Pence remained unfailingly loyal to Trump while carving out a high degree of independence and autonomy from the president behind the scenes.
That including serving as the White House’s point person for corporate leaders and lobbyists, and building up his own political operation, including his own PAC, with his own advisers outside the confines of the West Wing’s operations.
Ironically, Drucker argues, Trump throwing Pence under the bus and publicly breaking with him over the former VP’s refusal may end up boosting Pence’s standing and prospects in 2024. Trump denouncing Pence, Drucker writes, was the necessary clean break that will allow Pence to occupy his own distinct lane in 2024.
“Pence was always going to have to untether himself from Trump, eventually. January 6 accomplished that. In the process, it saved the vice president from having to manufacture independence from Trump,” Drucker wrote.