Former President Trump made an approving remark about his own vice president being hanged following chants at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to hang then-Vice President Pence, according to a report in The New York Times.
The report is based on an account of an incident at the White House that was reported to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
It’s no secret that Trump was unhappy with Pence, who had made it clear that on Jan. 6 he would not be questioning the results of the election. Pence’s role in the process as vice president was to preside over the count by the House and Senate and consider objections made by state delegations.
But the new report suggests just how unpleased Trump was with Pence, who has since criticized the former president’s behavior on Jan. 6.
According to the report, at least one witness initially provided the House select committee an account of comments that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows made to colleagues on Jan. 6.
Meadows said Trump made a remark signaling his openness to having Pence hanged following the chants at the Capitol, two people briefed on the panel’s work told the Times.
People familiar with the committee’s work told the Times that the account was confirmed to the panel by former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson after she was asked about it.
A committee spokesperson declined to comment to the newspaper about the matter, while an aide and a lawyer for Meadows in addition to a lawyer for Hutchinson did not respond to the Times’s requests for comment.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich claimed that the Times story was a part of a larger “Democrat smear campaign” in response to the Times.
In one of Pence’s most forceful breaks with the former president, he said at a Federalist Society event in Florida in February that “I had no right to overturn the election.”
“There are those in our party who believe that as the presiding officer over the joint session of Congress, I possessed unilateral authority to reject Electoral College votes. And I heard this week that President Trump said I had the right to ‘overturn the election,’” Pence said at the time.
“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election,” he added. “The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. Frankly, there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”
“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 told the newspaper. “Americans are tired of the Democrat lies and the charades, but, sadly, it’s the only thing they have to offer.”
The Hill has reached out to the committee, a Trump spokesperson and an attorney for Meadows for comment.