Last week Mike Pence made a public point of staying at Donald Trump’s overseas resort on the taxpayer’s dime. You’d have to ask Pence why he did it, or what he was thinking. But the net result is that Pence’s stunt led the media to uncover a wide swath of similar Trump self-enrichment scams, including one involving the United States Air Force. Now Pence is at it again.
The very last thing Donald Trump needs right now is for the media and the public to see even more of this kind of behavior. Trump and his people would do well to lay as low as possible on the Trump property scam front, until the whole thing dies down, and everyone latches onto some other scandal. But last night Mike Pence gave a speech at Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington DC, generating more headlines for the Trump property scandal in the process. So what’s with this guy?
This comes a week after the media leak about Trump and Pence feuding over Pence’s future political ambitions, and a few days after the leak about Pence having opposed Trump’s Taliban Camp David stunt. The former leak seemed to come from Trump, and the latter leak from Pence. The two very much appear to be on bad and worsening terms, to the point that you have to wonder if the increasingly impulsive and erratic Trump might simply decide to try to convince the GOP to let him dump Pence from the 2020 ticket.
So is Mike Pence simply patronizing Donald Trump’s properties in a very public, if very clumsy, attempt at getting back into Trump’s graces and remaining on the ticket? Or is Pence making this scandal worse on purpose, because he thinks it can take Trump down before the election? Take your pick, but something weird is going on here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report