According to former White House staffers, Donald Trump called VP Mike Pence a “wimp” in a “heated” phone call just after 11 am on January 6, the Special Committee investigating the attack heard on June 16.
Footage shared by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol included statements from former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann and former White House adviser Ivanka Trump about the former president’s behavior toward Pence in the moments leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
According to Ivanka Trump and Herschmann, Trump had a “pretty heated” phone conversation with Pence at 11:20 am on January 6.
Former White House staffer Nick Luna said he remembered Trump calling Pence a “wimp” – “I remember hearing the word wimp …. I don’t remember if he said, ‘You are a wimp, you’ll be a wimp.’ Wimp is the word I remember.”
Julie Radford, former adviser to Ivanka Trump, said Ivanka relayed to her that her father had called Mike Pence “the p-word.”
Former legal counsel to the vice president Greg Jacob told the committee that he advised Pence against delaying the vote count to certify the 2020 election. Credit: January 6th Committee via Storyful
ERIC HERSCHMANN: When I got in, somebody called me and said that the family and others were in the Oval and do I want to come up. So I went upstairs.
- And who do you recall being in the Oval Office?
ERIC HERSCHMANN: Don Jr., Eric, Laura, Kimberly. I believe Meadows was there. At some point Ivanka came in.
IVANKA TRUMP: It wasn't a specific, formal discussion. It was very sort of loose and casual.
- So then you said at some point there's a telephone conversation between the president and the vice president. Is that correct?
ERIC HERSCHMANN: Yes.
IVANKA TRUMP: When I entered the office the second time, he was on the telephone with, who I later found out to be-- it was the vice president.
- Could you hear the vice president or only hear the president's end?
ERIC HERSCHMANN: I only heard the president's end. At some point it started off as a calmer tone in everything, and then became heated.
IVANKA TRUMP: The conversation was pretty heated.
ERIC HERSCHMANN: I think till it became somewhat in a louder tone, I don't think anyone was paying attention to it initially.
- Did you hear any part of the phone call, even if just the end that the president was speaking from?
NICHOLAS LUNA: I did. Yes.
- All right. And what did you hear?
NICHOLAS LUNA: So as I was dropping off the note, my memory, I remember hearing the word wimp. Either he called him a wimp. I don't remember if he said, "You are a wimp." "You'll be a wimp." Wimp is the word I remember.
- It's also been reported that the president said to the vice president something to the effect of, you don't have the courage to make a hard decision.
KEITH KELLOGG: Worse. I don't remember exactly either, but something like that. Yeah.
KEITH KELLOGG: Like being, you're not tough enough to make the call.
IVANKA TRUMP: It was a different tone than I'd heard him take with the vice president before.
- Did Ms. Trump share with you any more details about what had happened or any details about what had happened in the Oval Office that morning?
JULIE RADFORD: That her dad had just had an upsetting conversation with the vice president.
- Do you recall anything about her demeanor, either during the meeting or when you encountered her in Dan Scavino's office?
ERIC HERSCHMANN: I don't remember specifically. I mean, I think she was uncomfortable over the fact that there was obviously that type of interaction between the two of them.
NICHOLAS LUNA: Something to the effect, this is-- the wording is wrong. I made the wrong decision four or five years ago.
- And the word that she relayed to you that the president called the vice president-- I apologize for being impolite, but do you remember what she said, her father called him?
JULIE RADFORD: The P word.