Trump said it was ‘common sense’ for Capitol rioters to chant ‘Hang Mike Pence’ – USA TODAY

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An audio clip shared by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on Friday sheds further light into former president Donald Trump’s thoughts on the Capitol riot — and on former Vice President Mike Pence.

In his interview with Karl, Trump discusses the rioters who chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” while storming the Capitol.

“Were you worried about him?” Karl asks.

“No I thought he was well-protected,” Trump answers. “And I had heard that he was in good shape…”

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

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) November 12, 2021

When Karl asks about the “Hang Mike Pence” chants specifically, Trump defended the rioters — and once again repeated his false claims about voting in the 2020 election.

“Well, the people were very angry,” Trump says in the audio excerpt. “Because it’s — it’s common sense, Jon, 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?”

The interview — which Karl calls “genuinely shocking” — took place in March 2021, when Karl spoke to Trump for his upcoming book “Betrayal.”

More: Mike Pence sought advice from former VP Dan Quayle on how to deal with Trump, book says

More: What Mike Pence is saying about the future of the Republican Party

Pence has previously said he and his former boss may just never see “eye to eye” on the riot, though he notes they did part “amicably.” The two have talked “a number of times” since leaving office, Pence told Sean Hannity on Fox News recently.

More of Karl’s interview will air on ABC News Sunday at 9 a.m. His book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” goes on sale Nov. 16.

Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at and follow her on Twitter @rashikajpr.