Former president Donald Trump responded to a revelation from the House select committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January that he agreed with rioters that his vice president Mike Pence should be hung.
“I NEVER said, or even thought of saying, ‘Hang Mike Pence’”, Mr Trump said on his own social media platform Truth Social. “This is either a made up story by somebody looking to become a star, or FAKE NEWS!”
Rioters who broke into the US Capitol on January 6 were filmed yelling “Hang Mike Pence.” During her opening remarks at the select committee’s first prime time hearing on Thursday, Ms Cheney revealed Mr Trump’s reaction.
“You will hear that president Trump was yelling. He was really angry at advisers that told him he needed to be doing something more”, Ms Cheney said. “And aware of the rioter’s chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment: ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence deserves it.’”
The former president had attempted to pressure Mike Pence to overturn the election results on 6 January, the date that Congress certifies the presidential election results. As the riot was underway, Mr Trump criticised his vice president as he was under threat.
“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!”
Last year, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl revealed audio to Axios from his interview with the former president, where he defended supporters’ chants.
When Mr Karl spoke to Mr Trump about the “hang Mike Pence” chants, Mr Trump responded nonchalantly.
“Because 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?” Mr Trump said. “How can you pass a vote that you know is fraudulent? Now, when I spoke to him, I really talked about all of the fraudulent things that happened during the election. I didn’t talk about the main point, which is the legislatures did not approve — five states. The legislatures did not approve all of those changes that made the difference between a very easy win for me in the states, or a loss that was very close, because the losses were all very close.”