Mike Pence wants to 'hang' all gay people, according to Donald Trump

ReutersDonald Trump (right) points at his running mate, then the Indiana governor Mike Pence.

Donald Trump said that his Vice President, Mike Pence, 'wants to hang them all' while joking about gay people, according to a profile of Pence in the respected journal the New Yorker.

Trump continually chides Pence for his religious views and asks people who had met with Pence, 'did Mike make you pray?' according to the magazine's reporter Jane Mayer.

The profile paints Pence as deeply conservative compared to Trump.

At the same meeting with a legal scholar during which the 'hang them all' comment was made, the group reportedly spoke about Roe v Wade - the Supreme Court decision legalising abortion across the US. The legal scholar argued that attempts to overturn the decision were pointless, as states would simply legalise abortion on their own.

'You see? Trump said to Pence. 'You've wasted all this time and energy on it, and it's not going to end abortion anyway.'

The New Yorker profile says: 'A staff member from Trump's campaign recalls him mocking Pence's religiosity. He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence's office, Trump would ask them, "Did Mike make you pray?" Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence's determination to overturn Roe v Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. "You see?" Trump asked Pence. "You've wasted all this time and energy on it, and it's not going to end abortion anyway." When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, "Don't ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!"'

Pence, who is a cradle Catholic turned evangelical, invites staffers to pray with him at weekly meetings. He holds regular meetings on Capitol Hill with Ralph Drollinger, the highly conservative founder of Capitol Ministries.

Pence voted against the repeal of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' a law preventing gay people from serving openly in the military, and has been accused of supporting gay 'conversion therapy'.

Pence is also strongly opposed to gay marriage and campaigns to allow religious bodies to refuse to serve same-sex couples.

In March 2015, controversially, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, allowing businesses to refuse to serve people in certain circumstances over religious beliefs.

In an unusual concession, and under pressure from campaigners, he later signed an amendment stating that businesses could not discriminate against gay people. This, in turn, drew criticism from his conservative allies.

Last week, Trump addressed the Values Voter Summit for conservative Christians. Before he spoke, attendees were reportedly given pamphlets calling homosexuality a 'public health crisis'.