“‘How are you?’ he began. ‘How are Karen and Charlotte?’”
Mr. Pence writes that he “replied tersely that we were fine” and told him that his wife and daughter had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6. “He responded with a hint of regret,” Mr. Pence recounts. “‘I just learned that.’ He then asked, ‘Were you scared?’”
Mr. Pence replied that he was angry: “You and I had our differences that day, Mr. President, and seeing those people tearing up the Capitol infuriated me.”
Mr. Trump began to protest that “people were angry, but his voice trailed off,” Mr. Pence writes, adding that he told Mr. Trump that he needed to let it go. “Yeah,” Mr. Trump replied quietly.
As they talked, Mr. Pence writes, Mr. Trump said “with genuine sadness in his voice”: “What if we hadn’t had the rally? What if they hadn’t gone to the Capitol?” He added, “It’s too terrible to end like this.”
Mr. Pence offers up views about key moments in the administration, such as relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as well as the controversy over Mr. Trump’s remarks regarding the march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.
He defended Mr. Trump, insisting that he thought the criticisms had been unfair. “Donald Trump is not antisemitic,” Mr. Pence insists. “He’s not a racist or a bigot. I would not have been his vice president if he was.”
He also writes admiringly about Mr. Kushner and John Kelly, the second White House chief of staff, who he said brought a sense of order to the West Wing. However, he had much harsher words for Mark Meadows, the final chief of staff to Mr. Trump, who has been a focus of some of the investigations into what led to the Capitol riot.
“In the waning days of the administration, one of his successors, Mark Meadows, a congressman from North Carolina, would fling the doors to the Oval Office wide open, allowing people in who should not even have set foot on the White House grounds, let alone have access to Trump,” Mr. Pence writes.