Pence Reaches Out to Harris as Trump Plans to Skip Inauguration

Pence Reaches Out to Harris as Trump Plans to Skip Inauguration

15:53 - Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday in what has been the highest-level contact between the outgoing and incoming administrations, according to a transition official.

The call came the same day Pence publicly pledged to deploy the “full resources of the federal government” to ensure a safe inauguration during a briefing with law enforcement officials in Washington.

“We are committed to an orderly transition and a safe inauguration,” Pence said at the briefing. He added that President-elect Joe Biden and Harris would be sworn in “in a manner consistent with our history,” despite threats of violence following the Jan. 6 incursion by President Donald Trump’s supporters at the Capitol.

The conversation was gracious and pleasant with Pence offering his congratulations and assistance, according to the New York Times, which first reported the call.

Pence’s role in the inaugural ceremony has become the focus of increased attention with Trump spending the weeks following the election promoting baseless conspiracy theories of widespread voter fraud -- an effort that incited the insurrection and led to his second impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Following the violence, Trump committed to a peaceful transition of power, but he has said he will not attend Biden’s swearing in. Instead, Trump is expected to depart Washington earlier that day. Pence, on the other hand, will attend the inaugural ceremonies.

Harris on Thursday said the vote by Congress to certify the election results -- which was presided over by Pence -- was a signal of national unity after the incursion.

“We returned to the Capitol, Democrats and Republicans together,” Harris said during a virtual fundraiser for the inaugural committee. “We returned because we agreed we would not be deterred, we would not be silenced, we would not be in fear of doing the work on behalf of the people of our nation.”

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