Vice President Mike Pence defended President Trump and the Trump administration from Bob Woodward’s upcoming book ‘Fear’ in an interview with Face the Nation. Pence said the veteran journalist has a “complete misunderstanding of how this White House works.”
“I want to stipulate that working in the White House is not for everybody,” Pence told host Margaret Brennan. “I mean, this president is tough. He’s demanding. He wants things yesterday. And I think it’s one of the reasons why we’ve accomplished so much in such a short period of time.”
“I know this president has great respect for the men and women who serve in this Cabinet,” he said. “And these accounts are very foreign to me. And I’m just not aware of instances where they’ve occurred and or where they would occur.”
Transcript, via CBS News:
MARGARET BRENNAN: In the past, respectfully, I mean, you suffered, when you were lied to by Michael Flynn. I mean he was fired for lying to you. Do you believe the denials this time?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: I do because I know the men and women who serve with us in this cabinet. But I also do because whoever wrote that editorial, and the narrative that comes out of some other writings recently, just doesn’t know what really happens in this White House. I’ve seen this president in action. Is he demanding? Yes. Is he a strong leader who expects things done yesterday? Yes. But for someone to say that that what we’ve accomplished in the last 18 months is in spite of this president’s leadership, this just reflects an ignorance about President Trump and about our administration.
MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the claims made in the op-ed is that there had been discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to even remove the president from office. Have you ever been part of a conversation about that?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: No. Never. And why would we be, Margaret? I mean, the truth of the matter is over the last eight years, despite what we heard from President Obama on Friday, I mean this country was struggling. I mean it was the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression because having inherited a recession, President Obama’s answer was to raise taxes, to double the national debt, to increase regulation, to pass Obamacare into law, to stifle American energy.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But he says the economic upswing began on his watch.
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Well, I know he said that but I don’t think too many Americans noticed it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said that there are other writings that- that you also think are inaccurate here. Bob Woodward had this book that just is about to come out describing in detail a number of incidents inside the White House where he basically describes people around the president trying to protect the country from him. What is it that you think is inaccurate in his description?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Well, the only thing that’s wrong about that narrative is everything. Because it shows- it shows a complete misunderstanding of how this White House works, and what- what President Trump provides for this country every day is strong and decisive leadership in the Oval Office. The narrative that I’ve picked up, in- in not only this book but the opinion editorials, suggests that- that- that things are happening in spite of the president’s leadership, and nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, our founders envisioned all executive power being vested in the president of the United States, and the American people should know all the progress that we’re making is a result of the fact that President Trump engages in debate, he gets all of the facts and he’s not afraid to make a decision–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Woodward says he spoke–
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: –and move forward.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –to 100 people. He has recordings. He has notes to back up these firsthand accounts. One of the instances was he said that the president was stopped from tweeting about withdrawing U.S. personnel from South Korea because North Korea would view it as an act of war. These are specific instances. You’re saying they didn’t happen?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: What that suggests, and- and what I get from other examples and narratives is, is that- that- that people are managing the president, when in fact what happens in the White House every day, Margaret, is the president invites opinions. He tends to put people around the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office who have diverse views. And- and- and he invites a vigorous debate over what policies ought to be embraced. Then he makes a decision and we go forward. Whether it’s foreign policy, domestic policy, or whether it’s legislation on Capitol Hill–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think he respects those advisors?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: –that’s exactly the kind of leadership the American people wanted when they elected President Donald Trump.
MARGARET BRENNAN Some of the instances here are really specific. The president has publicly mocked Jeff Sessions, but in this book, these are specific instances of disregarding the commerce secretary to his face, insulting other cabinet officials. Do you dispute all of these examples?
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Well, I would tell you I know this president has great respect for the men and women who serve in this cabinet. And these- these accounts are very foreign to me. And- and I’m just not aware of instances where they’ve occurred and or where they would occur. But look I- I want to stipulate that working in the White House is not for everybody. I mean this president is tough. He’s demanding. He wants things yesterday. And I think it’s one of the reasons why we’ve accomplished so much in such a short period of time. I mean the truth is I think President Donald Trump is the most accomplished president of my lifetime and I think already one of the most successful presidents in American history–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think– …read more