Last night, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his sentencing memo for Michael Flynn, Palmer Report pointed out that Mike Pence was in some real trouble. Although most of the memo was redacted, Mueller made a point of not redacting a sentence about the Trump transition team, as if to send a message to Pence that he’s been nailed. Now suddenly, in what can’t be a coincidence, Donald Trump is throwing Pence under the bus.
Mike Pence was in charge of the transition team, and it’s impossible that he didn’t know what Michael Flynn was doing at the time. Pence then went on to lie on Flynn’s behalf on live national television. That’s left long-standing questions about why Pence would have been willing to put himself at risk to cover for Flynn, unless Pence was at the center of the Trump-Russia scandal. So is Mueller planning to try to oust Pence before taking Trump down? We don’t know. But we do know that Trump is suddenly talking about dropping Pence altogether.
There’s a new article out this afternoon from Vanity Fair, which tends to have strong inside sources on these things, and says that Donald Trump is talking about dropping Mike Pence from the ticket in 2020. Of course back in the real world, Trump won’t be running for reelection in 2020 because he’ll already be ousted by then, and awaiting trial on federal and/or state charges.
But let’s be clear here: Donald Trump and his remaining loyalists in the White House are trying to send a message today, by leaking this story. Trump obviously can’t fire Pence in the middle of a term and everyone knows it, so the easiest way for Trump to publicly distance himself from Mike Pence is to float the idea that he wants to drop him from the ticket. We can’t imagine it’s coincidence that, less than a day after Mueller signaled that he has Pence nailed, Trump is suddenly throwing Pence under the bus. Stay tuned, because this one could get ugly fast.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report