KEY POINTS

  • Trump and Pence had a "tense encounter" in the Oval Office a day before the riot at the U.S. Capitol
  • Pence had come close to stopping the Congress' election certification process, the book claims
  • Trump had nearly conceded defeat to Biden a day after the election, say authors

Former President Donald Trump allegedly threatened to unfriend then-Vice President Mike Pence while pressuring him to try and block the Congress’ election certification in January, a new book revealed.

In the upcoming book “Peril” by journalist Bob Woodward and senior Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, the authors described a tense moment in the White House after Pence told Trump that the Constitution did not allow him to overturn the results of the election. 

"I've done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It's simply not possible,” Pence told Trump, according to an excerpt from the book obtained by CNN.

Trump then began shouting and forcing Pence to stop the 2020 election certification process by holding their friendship hostage, according to the book. 

"No, no, no!" Trump shouted. "You don't understand, Mike. You can do this. I don't want to be your friend anymore if you don't do this."

The former president allegedly called Pence again hours before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"If you don't do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago," Trump said, according to the book. 

While Pence held firm, the book revealed that the former vice president had come close to overturning the election if only he had the option. According to Woodward and Costa, Pence had called Dan Quayle, who served as the vice president during the Bush administration, to ask him whether there was anything he could do to stop the certification.

"Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away," Quayle told Pence, according to the authors. “You listen to the parliamentarian. That's all you do. You have no power."

“Peril” also revealed that Trump seemed ready to acknowledge defeat to Joe Biden on Nov. 4, the day after the presidential election, during a conversation with his counselor Kellyanne Conway. 

"How the hell did we lose the vote to Joe Biden?" Trump asked. 

However, then-president Trump backtracked after making phone calls to his loyal supporters, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He then promoted baseless theories about the election, including voter fraud.

It is unclear whether Pence plans to make a White House bid in the 2024 election. It is also unclear whether Pence would be selected as Trump’s running mate should the former president decide to run for president again in 2024. 

A new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa says the Pentagon's top general was worried about Donald Trump's sanity after losing the presidential election. A new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa says the Pentagon's top general was worried about Donald Trump's sanity after losing the presidential election. Photo: AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA