On a day in which Donald Trump’s criminal scandals have taken a turn for the profoundly explosive, and everything is caving in on his presidency, something is suddenly up with Mike Pence. He’s on an international trip in Peru, but it looks like his plans there just abruptly ended in chaotic fashion and the timing can’t be ignored.
Here’s what Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post tweeted from on-site just a few minutes ago: “In Lima, reporters traveling with Vice President Pence were suddenly rushed to the motorcade, running as quickly as we could. Pence is supposed to attend a reception and dinner tonight — and instead he is at the hotel. No one will yet tell us why.” (link) There are a couple of different possible explanations here, each one more eye popping than the last.
It’s possible this is some kind of local security matter in Peru, and that Mike Pence was whisked away for his own safety. But if this were the case, it seems likely that officials would have simply told the press that it was due to a local security matter, even if they didn’t want to go into details about it yet for safety reasons. Instead, when something like this happens without explanation, it usually means something much bigger is in play. So let’s talk about two scenarios that come to mind.
One would be that Donald Trump is preparing to wage war in Syria or elsewhere, as a last ditch attempt at distracting from his worsening scandals, and that Mike Pence has been whisked away for that reason. Another would be that Donald Trump has decided to resign in the wake of today’s revelations about Michael Cohen and the Pee Pee Tape, and that Pence is on his way to be sworn in. Both those explanations sound surreal, of course, and it could be something entirely different. Yet here we are and something is clearly up. Stay tuned. Update: Trump is about to make a televised statement about Syria.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report