ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl interviewed Trump on March 18, 2021 for Karl’s new book “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,” scheduled to be released on November 16, 2021. Karl shared an audio clip of their interview on Twitter.
Karl’s Interview and the Capitol Riot
Karl asked Trump if he was worried about the safety of his vice president during the Capitol attack, which stemmed from an earlier Trump rally as Congress was meeting to certify the November election results. At the rally, pastor Paula White led a prayer where she asked God to not only overturn “any spirit of fear, intimidation, worry, anxiety,” but also for those gathered to have “holy boldness.”
Trump told Pence from the stage of the rally, “I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.”
Trump then told his supporters, “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy and after this we’re gonna walk down — and I’ll be there with you — we’re gonna walk down to the Capitol and we’re gonna cheer on our brace senators and congressmen and women.”
Later, a mob of people holding Trump signs and flags forced their way into the Capitol building, resulting in the death of five people and injuries for over 135 police officers.
Congress members barricaded themselves in the House chambers, and the Vice President was taken to a secured location. Trump told Karl he wasn’t worried about Pence’s safety saying, “No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape.”
The former President then pointed out that the people were “very angry.”
Referring to the the rioters’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence” and shouts of “Traitor,” Karl called their actions “terrible.” In response, Trump said, “Because it’s common sense, Jon. 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?”