The Republican senator will not condemn Trump for defending shouts of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ | US Capitol attack

A senior Senate Republican on Sunday denied four times condemning Donald Trump for defending supporters who shouted “Hang Mike Pence” during the deadly attack on the U.S. capital on January 6.

Trump made the comments about his vice president, who did not give in to pressure to overthrow Joe Biden’s election victory, in an interview with ABC’s chief correspondent in Washington, Jonathan Karl.

John Barrasso of Wyoming, the third-ranked Republican in the Senate, appeared on ABC’s This Week. He was asked: “Can your party tolerate a leader who defends murderous shouts against his own vice president?”

“Well,” said Barrasso. “Let me just say that the Republican Party is incredibly united right now, and … I think the more Democrats and the press are occupied by President Trump, the better I think it is for the Republican Party. President Trump brings lots of energy to the party, he is a lasting force. “

He also said the party was focused on elections and political debate, not the past.

His host, George Stephanopoulos, said: “So you have no problem with the president saying, ‘Hang Mike Pence’ is common sense?”

“I was with Mike Pence in the Senate on January 6,” Barrasso said. “And what happened was that they quickly got Vice President Pence out of there, certainly much faster than they removed the senators. I think he was safe the whole time.

“I did not hear any of those chants. I do not believe he did either. And Vice President Pence returned to the hall that night and certified the election.”

Stephanopoulous said: “We just played chants. I’m asking you if you can tolerate the president saying ‘Hang Mike Pence’ is common sense.”

“It’s not common sense,” Barrasso said before turning to Trump’s lie that the election was the subject of widespread electoral fraud.

“There are problems in every election,” he said. “I voted to confirm the election. And what we have seen in this election are areas that need to be examined more closely, such as what we saw in Pennsylvania. We all want fair and free elections. That is where we are going for the future. . ”

Stephanopoulos said: “But you do not want to criticize President Trump for these views?”

Barrasso said: “I do not agree with President Trump on everything. I agree with him on the policies that have brought us the best economy of my lifetime. And I will continue to support those policies.”

Karl released several excerpts from his interview with Trump. Asked if reports he told Pence, “you can be a patriot or you can be a pussy” were correct, the former president said, “I will not deny that.”

Trump also said he thought Pence could have sent the results of the Electoral College back to Parliament – the overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars say he could not – and said, “I do not know if I can forgive him.”

“He did the wrong thing,” Trump said. “Very nice, man. I love him very much. I love his family so much, but… it was a tragic mistake.”

Trump’s flirtation with yet another riot in the White House has seen critics within the GOP exposed to primary challenges, political exclusion and even death threats.

Jonathan Karl talks to Stephen Colbert this week.
Jonathan Karl talks to Stephen Colbert this week. Photo: CBS Photo Archive / CBS / Getty Images

Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio voted in favor of Trump’s lawsuit over the Capitol attack. Like Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of only two Republicans on Parliament’s committee examining January 6, Gonzalez will retire next year.

He told CNN’s State of the Union that he feared Trump was formulating plans for a coup.

“I think any objective observer would come to this conclusion: that he has evaluated what went wrong on January 6. Why was it that he was not able to steal the election? Who stood in the way of him?

“Every single American institution is just run by people. And you need the right people to make the right decision in the most difficult times. He systematically walks through the country, trying to remove the people and install people who will do exactly what he wants them to do, who believe in the big lie, who will agree with everything he says.

“I think it all pushes towards one of two results. Either he wins legally, which he can do, or if he loses again, he will just try to steal it, but he will try to steal it with his people in. “These positions. And that’s the hardest challenge for our country. That’s the question, are the institutions holding back? Are they holding another set of people in place? I hope so, but you can not guarantee it.”

Gonzalez said he “despised” most Biden policies and would never vote democratic.

But he said: “The country can not survive to burn the Constitution. You have to stick to the Constitution… and the cold, hard truth is that Donald Trump led us into a ditch on January 6th.

“… I basically see someone who should not be able to sit again because of what he did around January 6, but I also see someone who is a huge political loser. I do not know why anyone who wants to win the election would follow it… If he is the nominee again in ’24, I will do everything I can to make sure he does not win.

“… January 6 was the limit that can not be exceeded. On January 6, an unconstitutional attempt led by the President of the United States to overthrow an American election and reinstate himself in power was illegitimate. It’s fallen nation’s territory, it’s third world land territory. My family left Cuba to avoid that fate. I will not let that happen here. ”

Trump issued a statement on Sunday reiterating lies about election fraud and alluding to the indictment of his former strategist Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress, for ignoring a January 6 summons from the committee and legal danger that others, including his former chief of staff, , faced. , Mark Meadows.

“American patriots will not allow this undermining of justice to continue,” Trump said, adding, “Our country is going to hell!”

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