South Carolina GOP Rep. Tom Rice said he regrets voting to sustain objections to the 2020 presidential election results in two states on January 6 and added that former President Donald Trump was “responsible” for the chaos on the Capitol that day.
Rice said Wednesday that while he still believes there were “real issues with the election,” he wishes he had voted differently. Officials say they believe he is the first Republican in Congress to publicly disavow their January 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. 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 claimed Trump watched the violence “with pride,” “did nothing to stop it,” and called the former president a “coward.”
Rice was among the 147 House and Senate Republicans who voted in support of objections to the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on January 6. However, he was also among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump just seven days later.
The January 6 attack left five people dead and hundreds more injured as Capitol police were beaten, the building was damaged, and members of Congress fled to secure areas. More than 700 people have been charged in connection to the scene.
Trump has repeatedly called the riot a “protest” while arguing that the actual insurrection took place on Election Day.