Vice President Mike Pence has filed three tax returns since taking office, but he hasn’t publicly released any of them, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A CNN poll that finds that 12 percent of Americans have “never heard” of Vice President Mike Pence.
“As Newsweek notes, that equates to over 30 million adults who don’t recognize Pence’s name… The poll seems to affirm just how many Americans have fully opted out of political life, and it’s possible that the number could still fall short of determining just how many Americans don’t know their veep.”
“Days after South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg directly attacked Mike Pence for his stance on LGBT issues, the Republican vice president denounced the comments,” Politico reports.
Said Pence: “He’s said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me.”
Over the weekend, Buttigieg said: “If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
“In recent months, Pence has repeatedly found himself an even-tempered target for prominent Republicans needing to vent about Trump’s unorthodox style,” Politico reports.
Said Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “When he comes up here, unfortunately for him, he gets to be kind of the person that people take out some of their frustrations out on. But that’s a part of the job.”
“That has become more and more true of late. In multiple encounters with Republicans on Capitol Hill, on issues ranging from Syria to the government shutdown, Pence has swallowed his personal views, which have historically been far more in line with the GOP establishment than are Trump’s.”
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President Trump “has been telling his closest political advisors in recent weeks that he wants Vice President Mike Pence to be with him on the ticket in 2020,” CNBC reports.
“The development comes amid media speculation that Trump could ditch Pence in favor of another running mate.”
“The latest news might not end the speculation about Pence’s fate, though, since Trump is known to change his mind without notice – as his recent search for a new chief of staff demonstrated.”
Vanity Fair: “They’re beginning to think about whether Mike Pence should be running again,’ one source said, adding that the advisers presented Trump with new polling that shows Pence doesn’t expand Trump’s coalition. ‘He doesn’t detract from it, but he doesn’t add anything either.'”
“Part of what’s driving the debate over Pence’s political value is Trump’s stalled search for a chief of staff to replace John Kelly. According to a source, Kelly has recently been telling Trump that Pence doesn’t help him politically. The theory is that Kelly is unhappy that Pence’s 36-year-old chief of staff, Nick Ayers, has been openly campaigning for Kelly’s job.”
Said one source: “Kelly has started to get more political and he’s whispering to Trump that Trump needs a running mate who can help him more politically.”
Said Pence: “Let’s just leave it that we had a good laugh, and you know, the president said to me, ‘There are no anonymous sources that would say what that article said.'”
He added: “The president and I are very close. We have a very strong relationship. And I’ve been honored to serve as his vice president. And I was honored when he asked me to run with him again.”
Politico reports Trump called the story “fake news” with “made up sources.”
At a news conference last week, President Trump publicly asked Mike Pence to be his running mate again in 2020. But in private, the New York Times reports, Trump doesn’t seem so sure.
“In recent weeks, with his electoral prospects two years from now much on his mind, Mr. Trump has focused on the person who has most publicly tethered his fortunes to him. In one conversation after another he has asked aides and advisers a pointed question: Is Mike Pence loyal?”
“Mr. Trump has repeated the question so many times that he has alarmed some of his advisers. The president has not openly suggested dropping Mr. Pence from the ticket and picking another running mate, but the advisers say those kinds of questions usually indicate that he has grown irritated with someone.”
“Two days after the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, Vice President Pence bowed his head at a rally in Michigan as a religious leader who casts himself as a “rabbi” offered a prayer for the victims in Pittsburgh,” the Washington Post reports.
“But the man who shared a stage with Pence, Loren Jacobs, preaches Messianic Judaism, a tradition central to Jews for Jesus, a group condemned by Jewish leaders as faux Judaism that seeks to promote Christian evangelism.”
NBC News: “The ‘Messianic rabbi’ who outraged many Jews by invoking the name of Jesus while delivering a prayer in memory of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre victims was also spurned Tuesday by the organization that ordained him.”
Vice President Mike Pence rejected the suggestion that there is a link between the kind of political rhetoric used by President Trump and acts of violence like Saturday’s deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh or last week’s mail bombs sent to prominent Trump critics, NBC News reports.
Said Pence: “Everyone has their own style, and frankly, people on both sides of the aisle use strong language about our political differences. But I just don’t think you can connect it to acts or threats of violence.”
Vice President Pence supported President Trump’s claim without evidence that “unknown Middle Easterners” are traveling with the group of Central American migrants moving north through Mexico toward the U.S., The Hill reports.
Said Pence: “Well, it’s inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border.”
HuffPost: “Newly released documents from the Department of Homeland Security show more clearly that Pence’s early departure was a stunt — and not a cheap one at that. The Secret Service on Friday released receipts and folios indicating more than $75,000 in expenses, including hotels, travel and additional security measures.”
“But this is hardly the extent of the bill. As The Washington Post reported in the days after the game, Air Force Two costs approximately $43,000 an hour to operate, which the Post estimated meant a total bill of $250,000 for the flight alone. That’s to say nothing of the cost of local law enforcement, an extra ambulance and extra trauma teams at the local hospitals, with many of these supernumeraries making overtime for Sunday work. None of those expenses was included in the Secret Service’s cost breakdown. All told, it cost $325,000 at the very least for the vice president not to watch a football game.”
“Pence appears to have done his best to stay out of Woodward’s book. Pence was also largely absent from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Said Woodward: “Little leaked out of the Pence side of the White House.”
Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News that it was “un-American” for an anonymous author to write a New York Times op-ed last week critical of President Trump and vowed that he would take a lie-detector test to prove he did not write it.
Said Pence: “I would agree to take it in a heartbeat and would submit to any review the administration wanted to do.”
Vice President Mike Pence denied to CBS News being a part of discussions to invoke the 25th Amendment, removing President Trump from office.
Said Pence: “The Bible says count it all joy when you endure trials of many kinds. Any time I’m criticized for my belief in Jesus Christ, I just breath a prayer of praise.”
Our recent podcast episode with the authors of the book is very good.
Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner, authors of The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence, join Chris Riback for a discussion on the man next in line to be President of the United States should something happen to President Trump.
Thanks, as always, to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode. Use the code “politicalwire” and you’ll get 18% off of a subscription.