Trump Approved Of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ Chants During Capitol Riot, Staffers Reportedly Learned
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Topline

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told his colleagues during the 2021 Capitol riot that former President Donald Trump seemed to approve of the rioters’ “hang Mike Pence” chants, staffers told lawmakers investigating the attack, according to the New York Times—during a day that marked the end of what had been a tight relationship between Trump and Pence.

Key Facts

At least two witnesses informed the House January 6 committee that Meadows told staffers Trump was upset about Pence being evacuated from the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and Trump also purportedly seemed to empathize with the “hang Mike Pence” chants that broke out among the rioters in a conversation with Meadows, the Times reported Wednesday.

One of the staffers who told the committee about Meadows’ comments was his former aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, according to the Times, citing sources with knowledge of the committee’s investigation.

It’s not clear what tone Trump used when he delivered the purported comments.

A January 6 committee spokesman and a Trump spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment from Forbes; Pence could not be reached for comment.

An attorney for Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes, but told the Times he has “every reason to believe” his client did not make the remark about Trump.

Key Background

Pence was one of Trump’s closest political allies throughout his presidency, but their tight relationship collapsed on January 6, after Pence refused calls from Trump to somehow block the certification of President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election. During the riot, some Trump supporters set up makeshift gallows outside the Capitol. Many of the rioters also seemed motivated to find the vice president after Trump tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” Pence said at a Federalist Society event earlier this year that he had “no right to overturn” the election and called Trump “wrong” for thinking he did.

Tangent

The Times also reported the committee has heard testimony that Meadows burned documents in a fireplace in his office, citing two sources.

What To Watch For

The January 6 committee is expected to hold eight public hearings in June.

Further Reading

Trump Said to Have Reacted Approvingly to Jan. 6 Chants About Hanging Pence (New York Times)

Pence Says He ‘Had No Right To Overturn The Election’—And Trump Is ‘Wrong’ To Claim He Did (Forbes)

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