Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that former President Donald Trump brought “lots of energy” to the Republican Party.
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, I want to ask you about President Trump. As you know, Jon Karl, our chief Washington correspondent, had an interview with President Trump he released this week where the president seems to defend those who were saying “hang Mike Pence” on January 6. I want to show it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JON KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: No. I thought he was well-protected and I had heard that he was in good shape.
KARL: Because you heard those chants. That was terrible. I mean, you know, those —
TRUMP: He could have — well, the people were very angry.
KARL: They were saying “hang Mike Pence”.
TRUMP: Because it’s common sense — how can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: So he says, hang Mike Pence is common sense.
Can your party tolerate a leader who defends murderous chants against his own vice president?
BARRASSO: Well — well, let me just say, the Republican Party is incredibly united right now and it’s because of the policies of this administration. And I think the more that the Democrats and the press becomes obsessed with President Trump, I think the better it is for the Republican Party. President Trump brings lots of energy to the party. He’s an enduring force.
But elections are about the future, not the past. And that’s what we saw in Virginia and all across the country. And the Republican policies and the Trump policies of a strong economy and American energy, not begging Vladimir Putin to produce more oil, which is what Joe Biden is doing, those are policies that we’re going to continue to run on in the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you have no problem with the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense?
BARRASSO: I was with Mike Pence in the Senate chamber during January 6th. And what happened was they quickly got Vice President Pence out of there, certainly a lot faster than they removed the senators. I believed he was safe the whole time. I didn’t hear any of those chants. I don’t believe that he did either. And Vice President Pence came back into the chamber that night and certified the election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we just played the chants. I’m asking if you — if you believe — if you can tolerate the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense?
BARRASSO: It’s — it’s not common sense. There are issues of every election. I voted to certify the election. And what we have seen on this election, there are areas that needed to be looked into, like what we saw in Pennsylvania. We all want fair and free elections. That’s where we need to go for the future.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’re not going to criticize President Trump for those views?
BARRASSO: I don’t agree with President Trump on everything. I agree with him on the policies that have brought us the best economy in our — my lifetime. And I’m going to continue to support those policies and continuing to work to stop what Joe Biden is doing to this country, which I believe is almost irreversibly bad.
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