GOP Rep. Tom Rice has said he regrets voting to sustain objections to the 2020 presidential election results in two states on Jan. 6 — and said former President Donald Trump was “responsible” for the riot that ravaged the Capitol that day.
According to the outlet, Rice is believed to be the first GOP member of Congress to publicly disavow his Jan. 6 vote.
“In retrospect, I should have voted to certify,” Rice said. “Because President Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol.”
“In the wee hours of that disgraceful night, while waiting for the Capitol of our great country to be secured, I knew I should vote to certify,” he added. “But because I had made a public announcement of my intent to object, I did not want to go back on my word. So yeah, I regret my vote to object.”
Rice also called the 45th president a “coward” and claimed Trump watched the violence “with pride” and “did nothing to stop it.”
Rice was one of 147 House and Senate Republicans who voted in support of objections to the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6. However, he was also one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the riot just seven days later.
The Capitol riot led to the deaths of five people and left hundreds injured as Capitol police were beaten, the building itself was damaged, and Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress fled to secure areas. More than 700 people have been charged in connection to the violence.
Trump later branded Pence a coward for not making every effort to throw out the certified results from all 50 states, tweeting: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
“There was a coward in that equation,” Rice told Politico. “But it wasn’t Mike Pence.”
Trump has repeatedly labeled the riot a “protest” while arguing that the actual insurrection took place on Election Day.
On Tuesday, the former president announced he would hold a news conference on the anniversary of Jan. 6 to discuss the congressional investigation into the riot and his claims that massive fraud denied him re-election.
“Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th,” he said in an emailed statement.