Did Donald Trump Really Have This Reaction To Capitol Rioters Threatening Mike Pence?

In less than two months, we will be marking a year from the time protesters loyal to former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. New details from the events of January 6 continue to emerge as more photos, narratives, and interviews come to light; virtually all of the new information is being revealed in books and interviews which were conducted and released after Trump stepped down.

One of the most chilling images to come out of that day was one of a hangman's noose hanging from a gallows erected outside the Capitol as rioters chanted "hang Mike Pence." And while the structure was seen to be too small and too weak to be used, it was likely intended as a symbol of hate. As Morgan State University's Raymond Winbush tells NBC Washington: "The noose, which has a long history among Black folk, has become a symbol of intimidation. We're going to get you. We're going to kill you." 

Winbush, who is a historian, added that "It [the noose] became that on January 6 for the government of the United States by a lynch mob."

Trump had no sympathy for Pence

ABC News' Jonathan Karl had the opportunity to sit down and speak to Donald Trump in March, just over two months after the Capitol insurrection. Karl asked the former president how he felt when he heard crowds calling for Mike Pence to be hanged. Trump said he never worried about Pence's safety, because "I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape" (via Axios).

Yet, Trump's sympathies didn't lie with Pence, but for the protesters who stormed the Capitol. "Well, the people were very angry. ... It's common sense that you're supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?" Trump said, repeating one of his regular lies about the November 2020 presidential elections.

While the interview might have been conducted in March, Trump has repeatedly claimed that he was cheated out of a victory during the November 2020 elections in what's now being called "The Big Lie" (via CNN). He has since doubled down, saying that "the real insurrection happened on November 3rd" (via NPR).

Trump's latest comments about January 6 incensed social media

Details of Karl's interview incensed more than a few Twitter users, one of whom said: "This interview answers the Watergate question, 'What did the President know, and when did he know it?' Journalists should ask Republicans if they agree w/Trump. Was chanting about hanging VP Pence." Another posed a query: "A question which doesn't get asked enough is: why didn't Trump get rushed to the bunker by Secret Service while violence swirled so close to the WH? Probably because he waved them off; he knew exactly what was happening out there because he was involved in the planning of it." 

A third furious Twitter user asserted: "it's important to remember the former president is a traitor who fomented a domestic terror attack on the US Capitol in order to stop the certification of his legitimate loss and in effect overthrow the country and rule of law. And he was never brought to justice." A fourth feigned horror, saying, "You mean to tell me that Trump doesn't give a crap about anyone but himself."