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Former President Trump — in a taped interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News that was shared with Axios — defended, quite extensively, supporters who threatened to "hang" former Vice President Mike Pence.

Why it matters: Well, it is unprecedented for a former president to openly say it was OK to threaten the life of his vice president.

  • Oh, the two men are on track to run against each other for the GOP nomination in 2024.

Zoom out: This is a slice of a 90-minute interview — conducted at Mar-a-Lago on March 18 — for Karl's book, "Betrayal," out on Tuesday.

  • More news-breaking audio from the interview will air Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Go deeper: We will let the Q&A tell the story.

Jonathan Karl: "Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?"

  • Trump: "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. But, but, no, I think — "

Karl: "Because you heard those chants — that was terrible. I mean — "

  • Trump: "He could have — well, the people were very angry."

Karl: "They were saying 'hang Mike Pence.'"

  • Trump: "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? How can you do that? And I'm telling you: 50/50, it's right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them. Anybody I spoke to — almost all of them at least pretty much agree, and some very much agree with me — because he's passing on a vote that he knows is fraudulent. How can you pass a vote that you know is fraudulent? Now, when I spoke to him, I really talked about all of the fraudulent things that happened during the election. I didn't talk about the main point, which is the legislatures did not approve — five states. The legislatures did not approve all of those changes that made the difference between a very easy win for me in the states, or a loss that was very close, because the losses were all very close."

📚 Preorder ... Read a "Betrayal" adaptation about "deputy president" Johnny McEntee ... Read a "Betrayal" excerpt about Trump's disastrous Tulsa rally.

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Go deeper

Trump to elevate election deniers at Arizona rally

Donald Trump. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump announced guest speakers today for his Saturday rally in Arizona, and most of them share a common trait: they led efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Why this matters: Trump, who remains the most powerful figure in the Republican Party, is making his false claims about the 2020 election the centerpiece of the GOP platform.

Trump seeks N.Y. attorney general's recusal from civil investigation

Combination images of New York Attorney General Letitia James and former President Trump. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Trump and the Trump Organization filed a motion Monday for a preliminary injunction against New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigations into the business, accusing her of "unconstitutional" abuse of process.

Why it matters: Trump is seeking a stay in the civil investigation by James' office into the family business while the outcome of his lawsuit against the attorney general is pending or for James to "recuse herself from involvement in any capacity in the active civil and criminal investigation," according to the filing.

18 mins ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.