Donald Trump and Mike Pence have a whole new problem

This morning, Donald Trump made another appearance on Fox & Friends – a show that notoriously adds to the clogosphere of right-wing nonsense, and is one of the few programs that consistently tries to show him in a favorable light, even while Fox News personalities like Shep Smith and Judge Napolitano have begun loudly calling him out. Whenever Trump embarrasses himself on Fox & Friends by saying something phenomenally stupid, the hosts tend to do what they can to cut short the interview and minimize the damage Trump can inflict on himself.

This time, however, Trump hit a different target. It began with one of the co-hosts asking Trump a softball question, whether or not he would automatically endorse Mike Pence as his successor to run on the Republican ticket in 2024. Rather than reassure the hosts that Pence would be a shoo-in for the nomination, as former vice-presidents tend to be, Trump treaded carefully while answering.

“Well, it’s — I love Mike, we are running again, you’re talking about a long time, so you can’t put me in that position,” Trump hesitated. “But I certainly would give it very strong consideration. He’s a very, very outstanding person.”

It’s hard to believe that this phrasing wasn’t deliberate. Either Donald Trump wants us to think that he doesn’t have full confidence in his running mate – and it could be something as delusional as hoping Ivanka runs for president in 2024, or there’s a scandal with Pence about to break and he was coached to be ready to distance himself from it.

We do know that Mike Pence knew more about Michael Flynn than he let on and we’ve heard from multiple sources about Donald Trump’s mockery of Pence’s religious views, even while Pence has instructed his fellow evangelicals to turn a blind eye to Trump’s extramarital affairs. Then again, with the shrinking demographics among evangelicals, and the fact that he’s given his evangelical base a number of things they’ve wanted, Trump could be looking to dump Pence from the ticket for another running mate and is testing the waters. Whatever it is, we could be looking at a power struggle in the executive branch very soon. Stay tuned.

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