Trump defends mob who hunted down Pence during Capitol attack: report

Pence Rejects Trump’s Desperate Plea to Overturn Election Results . Vice President Mike Pence has publicly broken with Donald Trump and refused his demands to overthrow the results of the presidential election. . In a three-page statement, Pence said he did not have “unilateral authority” to change the results of the election. . It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not, Mike Pence, via Twitter. He ended by saying he will “keep [his] oath” and “do [his] duty” by presiding over the tallying of the Electoral College votes. I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of the Electors … hear objections … and count the votes of the Electoral College … in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws, and history. So Help Me God, Mike Pence, via Twitter. Shortly before Pence released his statement, Trump publicly called on him to “do the right thing” so that he could win the election. I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. If he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country. , Donald Trump, via CNN. Following Pence’s statement, Trump took to Twitter to accuse him of lacking “courage.”. Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution … USA demands the truth! , Donald Trump, via Twitter

Former President Donald Trump defended his extremist supporters who sought to hunt down ex-Vice President Mike Pence during the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

“It’s common sense,” Trump said.

Audio of the twice-impeached president to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl was published Friday by Axios in advance of a forthcoming book by Karl.

ExploreTrump urged Pence to overturn Biden win, new book says

“Well, the people were very angry,” Trump told Karl in a March interview for the journalist’s forthcoming book, “Betrayal.”

Karl even gave Trump a second chance to denounce the rioters’ death threats, but the former president insisted Pence was to blame for refusing to overturn the election.

“They were chanting ‘hang Mike Pence,” Karl said in a recording released to Axios.

ExploreMike Pence heckled at conservative political event

“Because it’s common sense, Jon. It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect,” Trump replied. “How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?”

The newly released comments amount to Trump’s most outspoken defense so far of the violent attack on the Capitol and some of his sharpest criticism yet of Pence.

Trump has staked his political comeback into rewriting the history of the Jan. 6 attack as a noble and largely peaceful protest of supposed irregularities in President Joe Biden’s victory.

He’s successfully rallied most of the Republican Party behind the false claims that the election was stolen and the even more remarkable defense of the violent mob that marauded through the Capitol hunting down Pence and other perceived enemies.

Trump dismissed reports that Pence was in extreme danger and was whisked out of harm’s way just seconds ahead of the MAGA mob, which chanted for his head and even set up a mock gallows outside the Capitol.

“I thought he was well-protected,” Trump said. “And I had heard that he was in (very) good shape.”

The remarks underline the ongoing feud between Trump and Pence, who loyally stood by the president during their four years in the White House. Pence broke with Trump over his demands that he refuse to do his constitutional duty by presiding over the certification of Biden’s win on Jan. 6.

Pence has sought to avoid conflict with Trump, but the former president’s refusal to condemn the efforts to kill him may complicate things as the 2024 election inches closer.

Trump makes no secret of his plans to run again for the White House and Pence also harbors presidential ambitions, setting them on a potential collision course.