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Pence on Jan. 6 threats from Trump: ‘Forgiveness is not optional’

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Former Vice President Pence, citing his Christian faith, said he forgave former President Trump following his actions during the Capitol riot.

Pence made the comment as he joined CNN’s Jake Tapper for a town hall promoting his new book, which also comes as speculation grows over whether he will mount a challenge to his former running mate in the GOP presidential primary.

Pence acknowledged he may indeed enter the race on CNN, and he tied his forgiveness for Trump to his own desire for a future political environment with more civility and respect, a yearning Pence has discussed at length in recent interviews.

“The president’s words and tweet that day were reckless. They endangered my family and all the people at the Capitol, and I was angry,” Pence told Tapper at the town hall.

“But you know, my Christian faith tells me to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” Pence continued. “And in the Christian faith, forgiveness is not optional. We literally pray in The Lord’s Prayer to forgive those who trespass against us.”

Pence went on to detail his conversations with Trump after the Capitol attack, saying the former president made “the right statements for the country.”

“I’m as human as the next guy, and I still pray for the president, and I pray for the grace to forgive him and all those responsible for that tragic day,” Pence said on CNN.

“But I truly do believe that we live in a time when the American people ought to be searching our hearts, and having more grace toward one another,” Pence added. “And it seems like our country is more divided now than ever before, even broadcast networks seem to be perceived to be divided along partisan lines, which is why I’m grateful for the opportunity to be on CNN today.”

Pence’s appearance on the network comes one day after Trump formally announced his 2024 presidential campaign.

During the town hall, Pence reiterated his belief that there will be “better choices” than Trump in the GOP primary, also saying “I’ll keep you posted” when pressed on his presidential ambitions.

He touted the Trump administration’s accomplishments while expressing sadness at how it concluded with the violence on Jan. 6.

“In the end, our administration did not end well,” Pence told Tapper.