‘It was common sense’: Trump defends rioters who chanted ‘hang Mike Pence’

Revelation comes in Jonathan Karl’s new book ‘Betrayal’

Eric Garcia
Friday 12 November 2021 14:30
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Court Temporarily Delays Release Of Trump's Jan. 6 Records

Former president Donald Trump has defended threats to hang his then-vice president Mike Pence by rioters on 6 January for failing to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Axios obtained the audio of an interview Mr Trump conducted with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl for Mr Karl’s new book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, which will be released on Tuesday.

In the audio, Mr Karl asked the former president, who had tweeted that his vice president lacked “courage,” while he was ushered out of the Senate chamber to protect him from people saying “hang Mike Pence,” whether Mr Trump was worried about him.

“No, I thought he was well-protected, and I heard that he was in good shape,” Mr Trump told Mr Karl. When Mr Karl mentions the chants, Mr Trump defended them.

“He could have - well the people were very angry,” he said. “Because it’s - it’s common sense, Jon, it’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that?”

During the “Stop the Steal” rally on 6 January that preceded the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, Mr Trump had urged Mr Pence to “do the right thing.”

“Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” he told the crowd. “And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a, a sad day for our country because you're sworn to uphold our Constitution.”

Earlier this week, Mr Karl told Stephen Colbert there were unreleased photographs showing Mr Pence hiding in a bunker in the Capitol.

Mr Pence has since blamed the media for focusing on the events on 6 January rather than the Biden administration as he tests the waters for a potential 2024 presidential run himself.

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