Donald Trump reportedly enjoyed watching a mob of his supporters storm the Capitol last Jan. 6. He also reportedly enjoyed that some of them were chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hung for failing to illegally stop the certification of the 2020 election results. He didn’t think it was such a bad idea, either, according to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Meadows told colleagues on Jan. 6 that Trump had said, as the Times puts it, “something to the effect of, maybe Mr. Pence should be hung.” Sources told the Times that Meadows’ recounting of Trump’s comment was relayed to the Jan. 6 committee by at least one witness, and that Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide who was present at the time, confirmed it.
Trump has previously defended the rioters who chanted for Pence to be hung. “Well, the people were very angry,” he told Jonathan Karl of ABC News, responding to the chants. “Because it’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect … If you know a vote if fraudulent, how can you pass along a fraudulent vote to Congress?”
Taylor Budowich, Trump’s spokesperson, responded to Wednesday’s report by attacking the Jan. 6 committee, but hefailing to address the allegation that the former president may have supported Pence’s execution. “This partisan committee’s vague ‘leaks,’ anonymous testimony and willingness to alter evidence proves it’s just an extension of the Democrat smear campaign that has been exposed time and time again for being fabricated and dishonest,” he told the Times. “Americans are tired of the Democrat lies and the charades, but, sadly, it’s the only thing they have to offer.”
Budowich earlier this week attacked Pence, as well, calling his support for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s reelection campaign is part of a “desperate” attempt to “chase his lost relevance.” Trump, who has attacked Kemp for not doing more to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, endorsed David Perdue in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Kemp defeated Perdue on Tuesday night by over 50 percentage points.