republican sen. Giovanni Barrasso (Wyo.) On Sunday he repeatedly refused to sentence the president Donald Trump for defending protesters’ demands to “hang Mike Pence” during the January 6 uprising on the US Capitol, with Barrasso instead praising the former president for bringing “a lot of energy to the party.”
This Week host George Stephanopoulos has asked Barrasso four times if he, or his party, disagrees with Trump defending calls from his supporters to kill the former vice president. Each time Barrasso has deviated.
“President Trump brings a lot of energy to the party. He is an enduring force. The elections are about the future, not the past,” he replied at one point.
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Trump in a recent interview if he was concerned about Pence’s safety during the attack, which left five people dead.
Trump said he was not worried about Pence, reasoning that he thought the vice president was “well protected” and that he “had heard that he was in excellent shape.”
When Karl insisted that the rioters were chanting “hang Mike Pence,” Trump, who had publicly criticized Pence for failing to overturn the 2020 election result, came to their defense.
“Well, people were very angry,” Trump replied. “Because it is common sense. … How can you, if you know that a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass a fraudulent vote? “
Republican Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.), In a separate interview on Sunday with CNN’s “State of the Union” he offered a different view of Trump’s comments, saying he personally saw the gallows that had been built by Trump supporters outside the Capitol. Trump’s behavior is “not fair” or “appropriate,” he said.
“It was a really scary day,” Upton said. “It’s so disturbing, you know, that’s not the point of our democracy, these physical threats.”