12/06/2018

Report: Trump And Aides Discussed Whether Pence Should Remain On The 2020 Ticket

Allahpundit, Hot Air

I don’t believe it — although there have been some curious reportslately alleging that POTUS is harboring doubts about Pence.

And it would be an extremely Trump-y outcome for Pence to embrace Trump in hopes of furthering his own career, only to see himself ruined and humiliated in the end. Like the politician version of Michael Cohen.

And it is sort of interesting that this meeting happened a day before Nikki Haley showed up at the White House to discuss “various topics” with Trump in a meeting that wasn’t included on his public schedule.

Good lord, I’m talking myself into believing this.

Would Trump really broach this subject at a meeting with multiple aides, though, knowing that it would inevitably get back to Pence one way or another? C’mon. This is the sort of calculation that’s very closely held and then announced to the veep only when the president’s resolved to do it.

On Monday, Trump hosted a 2020 strategy meeting with a group of advisers. Among the topics discussed was whether Mike Pence should remain on the ticket, given the hurricane-force political headwinds Trump will face, as demonstrated by the midterms, a source briefed on the session told me. “They’re beginning to think about whether Mike Pence should be running again,” the source said, adding that the advisers presented Trump with new polling that shows Pence doesn’t expand Trump’s coalition. “He doesn’t detract from it, but he doesn’t add anything either,” the source said…

Trump’s doubts about Pence are surprising given Pence’s frequent public encomiums and professions of loyalty. “Trump waxes and wanes on everyone,” a prominent Republican close to the White House explained. Part of what’s driving the debate over Pence’s political value is Trump’s stalled search for a chief of staff to replace John Kelly. According to a source, Kelly has recently been telling Trump that Pence doesn’t help him politically. The theory is that Kelly is unhappy that Pence’s 36-year-old chief of staff, Nick Ayers, has been openly campaigning for Kelly’s job. “Kelly has started to get more political and he’s whispering to Trump that Trump needs a running mate who can help him more politically,” the source said.

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