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NY Times: Pence Meeting Privately With Donors, Possibly Planning Future Independent From Trump

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, have hosted at least four events with prominent GOP donors and political leaders in the last few weeks in their Washington D.C. home, according to the New York Times.

Each event has drawn roughly 30 to 40 guests, including wealthy donors like Chicago hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin and the brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab, as well as Republican fund-raisers and executives from companies like Dow Chemical and the military contractor United Technologies.

According to the report, “the guests and their families collectively donated or helped raise millions of dollars to support the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016, and some are viewed in Republican finance circles as likely supporters for two new groups created to promote President Trump, Mr. Pence, their legislative agenda and congressional allies.”

Pence’s press secretary, Marc Lotter told the Times that the events were “private” and have not been listed on Pence’s schedules released daily to the press. Lotter added that the dinners were not political fundraisers which would violate laws barring the solicitation of political contributions in government buildings.

“The Vice President and Mrs. Pence consider it a great honor to host military families, lawmakers, world leaders, members of Congress, friends, civic and corporate leaders, and the President and Mrs. Trump at the Vice President’s Residence,” Lotter said in a statement.

The Times notes that Pence is often the focus of outreach to donors because President Trump does not like to court contributors who he feels will then expect something in return.

The report also claims that Mr. Pence’s activities have caused some speculation among Republican insiders that the Vice President may be preparing for a political future independent from Donald Trump.

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