Speed Reads

'people were very angry'

Trump defends supporters who chanted 'hang Mike Pence' on Jan. 6.

Former President Donald Trump in an interview defended supporters who threatened to "hang" his vice president on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

Speaking with ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl for his new book, Trump was asked if he was concerned about then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as Pence had to be rushed to safety when Trump's supporters stormed the building.

"No, I thought he was well protected," Trump responded, per Axios. "And I heard that he was in good shape." 

Karl pointed out there were "terrible" chants that day, including to "hang Mike Pence," but Trump said, "Well, the people were very angry." 

Trump has claimed Pence should have taken steps to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Biden, but Pence affirmed on Jan. 6 that the Constitution does not give him the power to "determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not." Trump subsequently tweeted that Pence "didn't have the courage to do what should have been done" as his supporters stormed the building to stop the election certification and the vice president sheltered from them on a loading dock in an underground parking garage. Trump was later impeached for inciting the Jan. 6 riot. 

In his interview with Karl, which was conducted in March 2021, Trump also claimed it's "common sense" that Pence should have stopped the certification of the election results, asking, "How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?" There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. This was the latest revelation from Karl after it was reported that his book also reveals Trump threatened to leave the Republican Party in a call with Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on his very last day as president.