Trump expressed support for Capitol attackers who wanted to hang Pence, Cheney claims

Trump expressed support for Capitol attackers who wanted to hang Pence, Cheney claims
Liz Cheney says January 6 committee will hear testimony from more than a dozen Trump White House staffers

As thousands of Donald Trump’s supporters were storming the US Capitol and chants of “hang Mike Pence” rang out from the angry mob, the then president purportedly told advisors that his vice president “deserves it.”

The remarks by Mr Trump were heard by former staff who were present in the room when they were spoken, according to Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the January 6 select committee.

Ms Cheney said the committee would present testimony from more than half a dozen former White House staff of the Trump administration who were present in the West Wing on that day.

“You will hear that president Trump was yelling. He was really angry at advisers that told him he needed to be doing something more,” she said.

“And aware of the rioter’s chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment: ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence deserves it.’”

Ms Cheney’s remarks came at the opening of the first public hearings of the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection and Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election on Thursday evening.

The committee has promised never-before-seen video and a mass of other evidence in its public hearings and said it will present evidence that will directly link Mr Trump to the attempted insurrection.

Ms Cheney’s comments appeared to corroborate reporting in the New York Times from March that claimed the select committee had heard testimony about the president expressing support for the chants about hanging Mike Pence.