Mike Pence has denied ever discussing Donald Trump’s impeachment from office in an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation to be aired on Sunday, reports the Guardian.
The vice president was responding to revelations made in the explosive op-ed published in the New York Times earlier this week, in which the anonymous senior official who wrote the piece claimed that Trump’s cabinet had discussed the possibility of removing the president from office.
“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president,” the anonymous writer wrote.
“But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
The fallout from the piece was immediate, with Trump bashing the “gutless” writer of the piece at a Montana rally Thursday night, while at the same time a frantic guessing game precipitated in the White House, with Trump aides scrambling to find who the writer was.
It also sent everyone else into overdrive, with late-night show hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel attempting to figure out the identity of the writer by isolating a particularly strange word in the article — lodestar — a word which is a Mike Pence favorite and has often been used during his years in public service.
The speculation rose until it was believed in some quarters that vice president Pence could have been in the one undermining the Trump presidency from within.
When asked on whether he knew the identity of the author, Pence told CBS he “wouldn’t know,” but said the publication should be “ashamed” to have carried the piece.
“But what I can say,” he said, “it’s a disgrace. I think the author … and frankly the New York Times should be ashamed.”
Since the 25th Amendment has to be invoked by the vice president’s office, Pence was asked if he had discussed removing Trump from office, as alleged in the op-ed. He refuted the claims of ever having discussed a Trump impeachment.
“No. Never. And why would we?”
Instead, Pence tried to use the opportunity to bash former president Barack Obama, who has made two explicitly political speeches since Friday in order to fire up the Democrats ahead of the midterms.
“[The] truth of the matter,” Pence said, “is over the last eight years, despite what we heard from President Obama on Friday, I mean this country was struggling.”