Former President Donald Trump expressed approval of rioters chanting “hang Mike Pence,” who was his vice president, according to witnesses to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
On Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters violently attacked the Capitol and some chanted “hang Mike Pence,” former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told colleagues that Trump had expressed support for the rioters’ sentiment, saying something like, maybe Pence should be hanged, according to a witness account provided to the House committee, reported by The New York Times.
Another witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Meadows, confirmed to the House panel what Meadows said of Trump’s remarks. Several people also confirmed to Politico that at least one witness had told the House panel what Meadows had recounted.
Trump’s team did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Trump told the Times that such “vague ‘leaks’” and “anonymous testimony” show the committee’s work is “just an extension of the Democrat smear campaign.”
Since the Capitol attack, Trump has said that Pence, as president of the Senate, should have refused to certify the electoral votes.
Just before the riot, Trump had incited the crowd at a rally on the National Mall by claiming the election had been stolen from him. Five people died in the mayhem, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.