Former Vice President Mike Pence reportedly is "in fear for his life because of Donald J. Trump," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Wednesday, blaming the former president for inciting the deadly riots by pro-Trump protesters at the Capitol earlier this month. "We're not talking about a debate over the Import-Export Bank. We're not talking about a debate over the organization of the United States Senate, the procedures behind that," Scarborough said on Morning Joe. "We're now talking about a movement and a president that inspired people to come to Capitol Hill to try to kill — their words, not mine — the vice president of the United States and the Speaker of the House."
He continued, claiming that Pence was "trying to lay low" in his home state of Indiana because "there are people now who have Mike Pence on their hit list because of Donald Trump. ... Mike Pence is in fear for his life because of Donald J. Trump." He said that the attack should be taken just as seriously as the 9/11 attacks. "You come after us; you come after our Capitol, we're going to come after you. ... We sure as hell are not going to tell anybody, 'Let's just pretend this is going to go away.'"
In the days and weeks ahead of the Jan. 6 certification of the Electoral College results, Trump repeatedly falsely suggested that Pence, who presided over the certification as vice president, had the power to invalidate electors. He called on Pence to assert authority during his speech shortly ahead of the Capitol's breach, but Pence said he did not have such authority to contest the Electoral College results. Trump tweeted that Pence lacked "the courage" to do what "should have been done" and criticized him for not allowing the states to look over what he claimed to be "fraudulent and inaccurate results."
Video captured from the insurrection showed one group of rioters chanting "Hang Mike Pence" as they attempted to push their way past police in riot gear to get into the Capitol — from which Pence was being evacuated. Jim Borg, a Reuters picture editor on the scene, said that "at least three different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to talk about a movement and a president that inspired people to come to Capitol Hill to try to kill — their words, not mine — the vice president of the United States and the Speaker of the House."