By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Trump and Pence finally meet

While Vice President Pence was hiding in a "secure location" from a violent mob of Trump supporters in the U.S. Capitol, President Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m. on Jan. 6, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump didn't contact Pence when the insurrection ended, according to the Washington Post

The ultimate White House odd couple finally met in the Oval Office on Monday and had a “had a good conversation, discussing the week ahead and reflecting on the last four years of the administration’s work and accomplishments.” The meeting came as Pence resisted an ultimatum from House Democrats to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The Post story portrays Pence as "hanging around" the Oval Office as Trump called allies to convince the veep to help him overturn the election they lost by seven million popular votes and by a 306-232 Electoral College margin.

WaPo: Pence met with Trump multiple times before Jan. 6 to talk him through the dynamic and explain why he couldn’t do what Trump wanted, advisers said. After Wednesday’s final pitch did not go well, Trump went to the Ellipse and gave a fiery, falsehood-laden speech, where, to a bloodthirsty crowd, he repeatedly pressured Pence to overturn the results. That mob was then unleashed on the U.S. Capitol, where many called for Pence's execution. Long-time GOP consultant Stuart Stevens on Pence: “He has no future in the Republican Party. When the base of the party is not booing you, but chanting hang you, that’s a bad sign.” 

2. Trump says Ellipse speech 'totally appropriate'

President Trump made his first appearance before the press this morning as he made his way to Alamo, Tex., and was asked whether he instigated the mob riot at the U.S. Capitol. Trump responded, “So if you read my speech, and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television, it’s been analyzed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Five people died, including a Capitol cop who was bludgeoned to death by the mob with a fire extinguisher. Other cops were attacked with Trump flags.

3. Holcomb on the 'big lie'

At the heart of the Capitol insurrection is what is being called the "big lie," - that President Trump actually won the election "by a landslide" in his terms. HPI  asked Gov. Eric Holcomb whether he believed there was a free and fair election. "I know the most about ours, let me start there, in Indiana, and it was," Holcomb said. As for other states' Electoral College ballots contested by House and Senate Republicans, Holcomb said, "The process played out in these states. You may disagree with the legislature, or the governor, election commission or the state and federal courts and their decisions all along the way, but in those three areas, the process played out." 

4. Armed protests at Statehouses

FBI Bulletin: “Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.” 

5. Trump abdicates as pandemic grows

Politico reports that the Trump administration this week will give President-elect Joe Biden transition officials their first direct access to certain regular meetings tied to the government's coronavirus vaccine development effort, Operation Warp Speed, which has inoculated less than 9 million Americans instead of the 20 million it project by the end of 2020. Associated Press: President Donald Trump’s days in office are numbered. But he’s already stopped doing much of his job. In the last three weeks, a bomb went off in a major city and the president said nothing about it. The coronavirus surged to horrifying new levels of illness and death in the U.S. without Trump acknowledging the awful milestones. A violent mob incited by the president’s own words chanted for Mike Pence’s lynching at the U.S. Capitol and Trump made no effort to reach out to his vice president. Trump only belatedly ordered flags flown at half-staff to honor an officer who gave his life defending the Capitol, and couldn’t be bothered to describe the officer’s actions. 

President-elect Biden will roll out his pandemic response on Thursday, six days prior to taking office. It's The Atomic!