Former President Donald Trump welcomed chants by his supporters calling for his Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged on Jan. 6, 2021, according to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a lead investigator on the House select committee probing the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
During the first public hearing held by the committee on Thursday, Cheney cited testimony by Trump advisers who recalled the president saying, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence deserves it.”
Trump supporters built a makeshift gallows on the west side of the Capitol during the riot and chanted for Pence to be hanged for refusing to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
The New York Times reported last month that at least one witness told the Jan. 6 committee they’d heard about Trump’s comment via former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and that a former Meadows aide who was present at the time confirmed it.
Trump on Friday claimed he “never said, or thought of saying, ‘Hang Mike Pence.’” In a post on his social media website, the former president called it a “made up story by somebody looking to become a star.”
Cheney also said that the committee will air testimony that Trump “really did not want to put anything out” by urging his supporters to stand down and leave the Capitol, and that the former president was “really angry” at advisors who said he needed to do so.
“On the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States,” Cheney said, adding that he had “a seven-point plan” to overturn the 2020 election.
Cheney said Trump made “relentless efforts to pressure Pence both in private and public.”
“What President Trump asked Vice President Pence to do wasn’t just wrong. It was illegal and unconstitutional,” she added.