Former President Donald Trump made the absurd claim that former Vice President Mike Pence was “well-protected” during the January 6 insurrection, which took place when a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise that the 2020 election had been stolen.
Trump made the claim in an interview with journalist Jonathan Karl, whose book, Betrayal, comes out next week, and which had an excerpt published in Vanity Fair.
“Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?” Karl asks Trump, according to an audio recording of the interview.
Trump answers, “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…”
Video footage from that day shows the angry mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and “Bring out Pence!” as they search for him through the halls of the Capitol. The mob set up makeshift gallows outside the Capitol, indicating that they intended to make good on their threat.
Karl also brought that up but Trump never responded to it.
“Because it’s common sense, Jon,” Trump can be heard saying. “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?”
You can hear the recording below.
When I interviewed Trump for "Betrayal" and asked him about his supporters chanting "Hang Mike Pence", he didn't condemn them, he defended them. Here's a clip from the interview. More audio from the genuinely shocking interview will air Sunday on @ThisWeekABC pic.twitter.com/MlnhTgw8Cu
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) November 12, 2021
Trump previously praised his Pence after Pence appeared on Fox News and accused the media of focusing on “one day in January.”
“Vice President Mike Pence’s statement during his interview with the great Sean Hannity very much destroys and discredits the Unselect Committees Witch Hunt on the events of January 6th,” Trump said in a statement. “It will continue anyways, however, because the Fake News doesn’t want to focus on Afghanistan, Russia, Taiwan and China, the Border, inflation, and a failing economy.”
During his appearance on Fox, Pence said that the media is focused on January 6 to “distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda.”
“They want to use that one day to try to demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported us in 2016 and 2020 but for our part I truly believe we all ought to remain completely focused on the future,” Pence said at the time.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.