Muir asks Pence: Did you take classified documents from the White House?

Mike Pence sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC News' David Muir.

November 15, 2022, 9:58 AM

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir, former Vice President Mike Pence was asked what he makes of authorities saying classified documents were taken from the White House and whether he himself has taken any.

The question comes three months after FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where they found thousands of documents marked as classified amid an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Let me ask you, as we sit here in your home office in Indiana, did you take any classified documents with you from the White House?" Muir asked Pence.

Pence, who is releasing the memoir "So Help Me God" on Tuesday, replied: "I did not."

Muir pressed: "Do you see any reason for anyone to take classified documents with them, leaving the White House?"

"​Well, there'd be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area," Pence said. "But I will tell you that I believe there had to be many better ways to resolve that issue than executing a search warrant at the personal residence of a former president of the United States."

The documents seized from Trump's home are now in the hands of a court-appointed special master as the former president and his legal team fight to retain those records.

"Executing a search warrant against a former president of the United States, for the first time in history, sent the wrong message to the wider world," Pence told Muir. "I hope that the Justice Department will think carefully about next steps in that light."​"And do you hope that future presidents are also careful with the message they're sending if they take classified documents with them from the White House?" Muir asked.

"​Of course," Pence responded.

During the exclusive interview at the former vice president's home in Indiana, Muir also pressed Pence on the Capitol riot, whether Trump should ever be in the White House again, if Pence will run for president and whether Trump hurt Republicans in the midterms.

Pence was overseeing Congress' certification of the 2020 Electoral College results on Jan. 6, 2021, when a large crowd urged on by Trump marched to the United States Capitol and then overran security and vandalized the building, sending Pence and congressional lawmakers into lockdown.

Trump, who has insisted he did nothing wrong, ultimately told the rioters to leave but only after berating Pence for not blocking the certification -- which Pence noted he couldn't legally do -- and repeating baseless conspiracy theories about widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

ABC News' Tal Axelrod, Adam Carlson and Esther Castillejo contributed to this report.