MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson spoke with Marc Lotter, press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence, this morning, pressing him on the level of outrage by the VP’s camp to a New York Times piece from this past weekend.
One of the revelatory nuggets in the Times report about the Republican “shadow campaign” for 2020 is how Pence may be planning a run just in case:
Mr. Pence has made no overt efforts to separate himself from the beleaguered president. He has kept up his relentless public praise and even in private is careful to bow to the president.
Mr. Pence’s aides, however, have been less restrained in private, according to two people briefed on the conversations. In a June meeting with Al Hubbard, an Indiana Republican who was a top economic official in Mr. Bush’s White House, an aide to the vice president, Marty Obst, said that they wanted to be prepared to run in case there was an opening in 2020 and that Mr. Pence would need Mr. Hubbard’s help, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. Reached on the phone, Mr. Hubbard declined to comment.
The report also details a few political events Pence has attended, not to mention the PAC he set up.
Pence put out a statement yesterday blasting the Times report as “offensive” and “absurd,” dismissing it as “fake news.”
Jackson asked Lotter this morning, “What is so offensive about it?” Lotter said it’s the idea that Pence is running in 2020 and not focused on the President’s agenda.
Jackson shot back that the article lays out several facts about what Pence has been doing, telling Lotter over and over that the details are accurate.
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) August 7, 2017
She asked Lotter if Pence would step up if Trump decides, for whatever reason, not to run in 2020. Lotter dismissed the “hypotheticals” and said they’re focused on Trump’s agenda and his reelection.
He kept insisting that this is all just “conjecture [and] speculation.”
Jackson also remarked upon the statement itself and whether it was “aimed at an audience of one,” sending a public message to President Trump when he could have just spoken to him in private. Lotter said it was important for Pence to publicly “clear the record.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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