GOP lawmaker still "livid" over Jan. 6, calls Trump a "narcissist" who is "driven by revenge"

“I did it then," Rice said of his vote to impeach Trump after January 6. "And I would do it again tomorrow"

Published June 7, 2022 10:52AM (EDT)

Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Capitol riot, said on Sunday that he's still "livid" over the former president's failure to put an end to the insurrection. 

"When he watched the Capitol, the 'People's House,' being sacked, when he watched the Capitol Police officers being beaten for three or four hours and lifted not one thing or to stop it – I was livid," he told ABC's "This Week" in an interview. "​​And it was very clear to me I took an oath to protect the Constitution."

Asked about his impeachment vote, Rice said, "I did it then. And I would do it again tomorrow."

"Defending the constitution is a bedrock of the Republican platform. Defend the constitution and that's what I did," he added, arguing that his vote was "the conservative vote."

RELATED: South Carolina Republicans censure Rep. Tom Rice for voting to impeach Donald Trump

Rice, who took office in 2013, has been a vocal anti-Trump Republican since January 6. He faces a crowded field of primary challengers, one of whom, state Rep. Russell Fry, has received Trump's endorsement


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Trump, for his part, has called Rice a "a total fool," claiming that he "abandoned his constituents by caving to Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left." 

But during the Sunday interview, Rice pushed back on Trump's remarks. "If I am a disaster and a total fool, and I voted with him 169 or however many times, what does that make him, right?" he said. "I'm taking his lead."

Rice also said that he'd consider throwing his weight behind Trump if the former president made a formal apology for stoking the insurrection. 

"If he came out and said, 'I'm sorry I made a huge mistake on January 6th,'" the congressman said, "then I might consider it."

"He's a narcissist, and he's driven by attention, and he's driven by revenge," Rice added.

RELATED: Republican Congressman publicly admits regret for voting to overturn 2020 election

Back in January 2021, Rice was censured by the South Carolina Republican Party for impeaching the president. Months later, the anti-Trump Republican voted in support of legislation to establish the House panel tasked with investigating the Capitol riot. 

While Rice was one of 126 House Republicans to back Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit that challenged the results of the 2020 presidential election, he has since expressed regret over doing so.

"In retrospect I should have voted to certify," Rice told Politico. "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."


By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Capitol Riot Clip Donald Trump Gop Civil War Jan 6. Tom Rice Republicans Trump's Big Lie