Former Vice President Mike Pence could have been killed on January 6, the day a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise that the 2020 election had been stolen.
Video footage from that day shows the angry mob chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" and "Bring out Pence!" as they search for him through the halls of the Capitol.
And just outside, the mob had set up a makeshit gallows.
But Pence appeared to forget or ignore all that during an interview on Fox News in which he criticized the media for focusing on "one day in January."
Appearing on Fox News personality Sean Hannity's show, Pence said:
"I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January."
"They want use that one day to try to demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported us in 2016 and 2020 but for our part I truly believe we all ought to remain completely focused on the future."
"That's where I'm focused and I believe the future is bright."
Pence's statements, perceived as deferential to former President Trump, received harsh criticism online.
Many reminded him that the Capitol riot was an attack against the official seat of government and that his life was very much at stake on the day he seems so keen to downplay.
Pence has long appeared to play both sides, on one hand condemning the former President for pushing the "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was fraudulent, while on the other accusing Democrats of not advocating for election integrity.
In June, five months after the attack, he acknowledged that he and Trump would never "see eye to eye" on January 6, which he referred to as
"... a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol, but thanks to the swift action of the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, violence was quelled, the Capitol was secured and that same day, we reconvened the Congress and did our duty under the Constitution and the laws of the United States."
However, in March, just three months before he issued that statement, he accused Democrats of ignoring "valid reforms and concerns" regarding the election despite there being no evidence that election fraud took place.
Saying that the events of January 6 "deprived the American people of a substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity in America," he claimed Democrats are ignoring the concerns of Republicans who have bought into the former president's lies about the election.
Pence's remarks, published in an op-ed for the conservative political news website The Daily Signal, were in response to Democrats' efforts to pass the For the People Act, a comprehensive voting and election reform bill.
The legislation ultimately stalled in the Senate after every Republican voted against it, ensuring it would not receive the 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster.