Donald Trump Allegedly Expressed Approval of 'Hang Mike Pence' Chants on Jan. 6, Committee Told: Reports

Sources tell The New York Times and Politico that the Jan. 6 House committee heard testimony that suggests the former president supported the outrage directed at his vice president

donald trump; mike pence
Donald Trump (L); Mike Pence. Photo: Getty (2)

As rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, some chanting "Hang Mike Pence," the vice president, members of his family and staffers absconded into a hiding place, narrowly avoiding the mob.

During its investigation into the attack and wider efforts to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, a House committee reportedly heard testimony that alleges former President Donald Trump approved of the outrage directed at Pence as well as the calls to hang him.

Trump's chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows, told other officials at the White House that the president complained about the vice president being escorted to safety, according to a witness who appeared before the House committee investigating Jan. 6, according to The New York Times.

Meadows also said Trump expressed a sentiment that perhaps Pence should be hanged, the Times reports, citing sources familiar with testimony provided to the committee by at least one witness.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide who was present when the chief of staff spoke about Trump's remarks, reportedly confirmed the account when the bipartisan committee asked her about it, according to the Times' unnamed sources.

capitol coup
Rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Samuel Corum/Getty

The panel of lawmakers was told by more than one person that Trump supported harming Pence, Politico reports in a similar story that cites multiple sources.

Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich gave a statement to PEOPLE — as well as to the Times and Politico — when asked for a comment on the two news reports.

"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," Budowich said. "Americans are tired of the Democrat lies and the charades, but, sadly, it's the only thing they have to offer."

An unnamed member of Meadows' legal team told Politico that the account is "totally incorrect" regarding the former chief of staff.

A Meadows attorney told the Times there is "every reason to believe" that the account of what he said about Trump "is untrue."

In his March 2021 interview with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, Trump said the chants about hanging Pence were "common sense" because "the people were very angry."

Evan Vucci/AP.

"I thought he was well protected, and I heard that he was in good shape," Trump told Karl, who interviewed him for his book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.

"Well, the people were very angry," Trump also said. "It's common sense. 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 a fraudulent vote to Congress?"

Trump has maintained that Pence could have and should have acted to stop the certification of the electoral vote count during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

His reasoning is based on false and disproven claims of widespread voter fraud.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify," Trump tweeted on Jan. 6, 11 minutes after Pence was seen on live TV leaving the Senate floor.

Pence distanced himself from Trump and his falsehoods about the legitimacy of Biden's win.

"Our former president said I had the right to 'overturn the election.' President Trump is wrong," Pence said in February, referring to part of a plan Trump has acknowledged that would have allowed him to remain in the White House if the vice president had rejected the Jan. 6 count.

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