Anyone who has been paying close attention can see that Mike Pence has been laying low these past few months, in the hope of keeping the Trump-Russia blood off his own shirt, so he can inherit the presidency once Donald Trump is inevitably ousted. But Pence’s strategy may have just failed him, thanks to an explosive new media report claiming that Pence actively tried to sabotage Trump for his own gain during the campaign.
After the infamous Access Hollywood tape surfaced just weeks before election day, Mike Pence and RNC Chair Reince Priebus conspired to replace Trump on the ticket with Pence, according to a new report from The Atlantic. Unfortunately this article has been authored by McKay Coppins, who has an unfortunate history of – how can we say this – publishing stories that have proven to be less than accurate. We’ll see whether or not this story proves true. But nonetheless it’s out there, and it’s in a fairly major news outlet whose past reputation hasn’t yet been fully ruined by its recent antics, so this story is going to stick. More importantly, Trump is going to hear about it, and he’ll believe it.
We’ve seen that it can take days or sometimes even weeks for Trump to become aware of major breaking news reports, both because he only watches Fox News himself, and because his handlers try to keep him isolated and cut off from the outside world in general for fear he’ll snap. For instance he still doesn’t seem to be aware that Billy Bush has been taking shots at him for days, or else he’d be tweeting about it by now. So it could take some time for Trump to eventually hear the story about how Mike Pence tried to conspire to replace him on the ticket during the election. But it’ll happen eventually, and it’ll be phenomenally ugly.
Donald Trump is already paranoid about everyone and everything, as his world caves in on him. That’s only gotten worse now that Michael Flynn has betrayed him and given him a good reason to be paranoid. Trump has to be wondering who else within his own ranks might be plotting to take him down. Most of his current senior advisers are in the process of meeting with Robert Mueller as we speak. Trump must be bouncing off the walls. Now he’s about to find out that Pence once tried to take the presidency away from him, meaning Pence will try again. Whether publicly or (more likely) privately, Trump will try to oust Pence – only to learn that he can’t actually “fire” the Vice President. Then he’ll find out that the Republican Congress likes Pence a lot more than it likes him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report