A growing number of celebrities, activists and tweeting voters expressed astonishment Monday over a report that President Donald Trump appeared to joke about Vice President Mike Pence’s stance on gays, saying he wanted to “hang them all.”
“What the fuck,” Josh Groban tweeted, getting right to the point.
According to a New Yorker profile on Pence published Monday, when an unnamed “legal scholar” began to discuss gay rights with Trump, the president gestured toward Pence and responded: “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!” The article, “The Danger of a Pence Presidency,” addressed Pence’s religion and religion-based political positions and Trump’s frequent mockery of them. But former White House strategist Steve Bannon is also quoted as saying that “Trump thinks Pence is great.”
George Takei tweeted: “Not sure what’s more disturbing, that Donald would joke about such a thing or that he would pick a man with these views as his number 2.”
Chelsea Clinton noted that the president needs to be reminded that it’s never OK to joke about murdering people. The LGBTQ community is a particular target of hate crimes. At a Justice Department meeting on hate crimes in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed an alarming “spate of murders ... around the country of transgendered individuals.”
Not sure what's more disturbing, that Donald would joke about such a thing or that he would pick a man with these views as his number 2. https://t.co/IXxW0mT5Sd— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 16, 2017
The Advocate asked its readers: “Still think he’s an ally? Trump joked about gays being hanged from nooses.” The National Center for Lesbian Rights responded, over and over, in a tweet: “This is not normal.”
This is #NotNormal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. This is not normal. #LGBTQhttps://t.co/fM8Q9FXFgs— NCLR️ (@NCLRights) October 16, 2017
2017: When at least 23 trans women have been murdered, and the president makes jokes about hanging gay people. https://t.co/mgG4XtQ7FY— NWLC (@nwlc) October 16, 2017
Trump said that Mike Pence wants to “hang them all.” All gay people. Are we snowflakes for not wanting to be led by men who want to kill us? https://t.co/JSWLlmCiPQ— Glennon Doyle (@GlennonDoyle) October 16, 2017
a lot of fatigue going on but trump joking about pence hanging gay people is beyond. impeach— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) October 16, 2017
The President of the United States saying that our Vice President would love to hang all gay people. Evil pieces of shit. https://t.co/enzttd1lzl— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 16, 2017
Making jokes about how his VP HATES the LGBTQ community!? Not funny. Terrible leadership. A President should know better. Shame on you. https://t.co/bQZhIW3Z90— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) October 16, 2017
Neither Pence nor Trump have responded directly to the report. But Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, has said in statements to the media that the New Yorker article is “filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive.” She said the piece is the reason “people have lost so much faith in the press.”
VP office on Trump hang the gays joke:"The New Yorker piece is filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive." pic.twitter.com/0QTXlJ3Cvh— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) October 16, 2017
Still to weigh in on the controversy: Republican politicians.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.