Franklin Graham's Prayer Call for Mike Pence Receives 'Traitor' Responses From Followers

Evangelical leader and prominent Donald Trump supporter Franklin Graham has been criticized on conservative social media site Gab after urging people to pray for Mike Pence following his heart surgery.

Graham wrote on "free speech" social network Gab, which has become a haven for those who have been banned from other platforms, about how Pence is recovering from his recent pacemaker implant.

"They said he should be back to full activity in just a few days, but I know that he, Karen, and their family would appreciate your prayers. He told me this evening that he is on the mend and God is good," Graham, one of the most prominent Christian figures in the country and son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, said.

However, several users of the platform reacted negatively to the message—accusing Pence of being a "traitor" for having refused former President Trump's calls to reject certain Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election.

In the days before Congress certified the election results on January 6, a number of Trump supporters pinned their hopes on Pence stopping the process in his purely ceremonial and constitutional role as presiding officer of the Senate.

The idea that Pence could perform a task to prevent Biden being declared the winner, despite him having no such power to do so, was also pushed by Trump. He urged his long-time ally to "comes through for us" and make some sort of intervention as he presided over the Electoral College vote count on January 6.

During the violence at the Capitol that day, as the building was stormed by Trump supporters, some of those in the mob chanted "hang Mike Pence" in the corridors of the building. Nooses and guillotines were also seen in Washington, D.C during the protests that day. Pence was forced to flee to safety.

In the comment section underneath Graham's posts, users continued to push the false narrative that Trump won the election and to blame Pence for not helping him remain in the White House.

"Pence betrayed this country, integrity, and morality. God entrusted him with a task to do the right thing and he bowed to evil," Catherine Slonksis wrote on Gab. "I have no sympathy for evil doers. May he recover and one day repent for what he allowed to take place before he stands before the judgment seat."

Gab user Dev_ray added: "Anyone else care to hear news about any of these people that sold America out to communism and crimes against Humanity? I mean unless the news involves them getting locked up for treason? Just curious."

Another account on Gab wrote: "I pray he shuts his mouth, sits down, and make amends to the American people for his traitors action in not supporting the President of the United States."

One account called JesusIsMyHero even questioned if Pence is actually a Christian, as they took issue with his lack of intervention.

"Pence does not know God. He KNEW We The People were betrayed in the fraudulent 'election' and his conscience wasn't bothered a bit by that. No one close to God would have such an untroubled conscience," they wrote.

Graham has been contacted for comment.

Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday. A statement from his office, reported by the Associated Press, said he "is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days."

Ahead of the Electoral College certification process in January, Pence broke from Trump and confirmed he would not be intervening in the ceremony after "careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history." The former vice president said he did not have the "unilateral power" to accept or reject electoral votes.

"Our Founders were deeply skeptical of concentrations of power and created a Republic based on separation of powers and checks and balances under the Constitution of the United States," Pence said.

"Vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical to that design."

Pence was also said to have informed Trump that he did not have the power to block congressional certification one day before the ceremony took place, which Trump later denied.

"He never said that," Trump said in a statement. "The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.

"Our Vice President has several options under the U.S. Constitution. He can decertify the results or send them back to the states for change and certification."

Trump and Pence met in the Oval Office on January 11, several days after the storming of the Capitol, and were both reported to have condemned the violence of that day.

Subsequent reports of a rift between them have been denied.

Mike Pence
Former Vice President Mike Pence leaves after the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. Franklin Graham has been criticized on conservative social media for asking people to pray for Pence following his heart surgery. MELINA MARA/POOL/AFP/Getty Images