More statements taken out of context!
President Donald Trump defended the chants of “Hang Mike Pence” that rang throughout the Capitol building on January 6th during an interview with Betrayal author and ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl. Audio was obtained and published exclusively by Axios.
Rioters on January 6th attacked Capitol police and invaded the Capitol building in an effort to stop the certification of the electoral college and overturn the results of the 2020 General Election. Trump had long contended, baselessly, that the election result was due to massive voter fraud, but was unable to prove that in any court of law.
Trump then turned to his Vice President to stop the election certification, which he refused. This made Pence the target of Trump’s animus and this legion of followers that and invaded the capital, many of whom chanted “Hang Mike Pence” as they entered the building.
Karl asked the former President about that, to which Trump nonchalantly defended, in part, because he thought he was “well-protected” and had “heard that he was in good shape.” Karl revealed during a recent interview with Stephen Colbert this week that photos exist of Pence hiding from rioters in the bowels of the Capitol building but he was not allowed to publish them.
A transcript of the back and forth was published by Axios:
Jonathan Karl: “Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?”
Trump: “No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape. But, but, no, I think — ”
Karl: “Because you heard those chants — that was terrible. I mean — ”
Trump: “He could have — well, the people were very angry.”
Karl: “They were saying ‘hang Mike Pence.’”
Trump: “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? And I’m telling you: 50/50, it’s right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them. Anybody I spoke to — almost all of them at least pretty much agree, and some very much agree with me — because he’s passing on a vote that he knows is fraudulent. 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.”
The audio reveals Trump to be dispassionate and calm while he is pivoting from defending the chants to hang his Vice President to his obsession over “fraudulent things that happened during the election.” But it will be evident to many who hear the video that Trump feels that Pence’s “passing on a vote” in defense of the events of January 6th are as big an issue to him as the Capitol attacks.