“In one conversation after another,” President Trump has been asking aides and advisers if his vice president, Mike Pence, is “loyal” to him, according to a new New York Times report.
Sources tell the Times that the president 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.
The Times reports that some Trump advisers have suggested to him that while Pence remains loyal, he “may have used up his utility.” These advisers have argued to the president that he might benefit more from a running mate who could help him with women voters.
Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary, insisted that the president “absolutely supports the vice president and thinks he’s doing an incredible job helping to carry out the mission and policies of this administration.”
“Mike, will you be my running mate?” President Trump calls out Vice President Mike Pence to be his running mate for 2020 pic.twitter.com/kajR6YX9Sx
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 7, 2018
At a post-midterm election news conference last week, a reporter asked Trump about locking down his 2020 running mate.
“Mike, will you be my running mate?” Trump asked Pence, who stood up, raised his hand, and nodded.
“Will you? Thank you. O.K., good,” the president said. “That was unexpected, but I feel very fine.”