Pence: “I don’t recall being told to be on standby. I was informed that the President had a doctor’s appointment, and –”
Pence: “I’ve got to tell you, part of this job is you are always on standby if you’re vice president of the United States. But the American people can be confident that this President is in remarkable good health, and every single day I see that energy and high relief.”
Like, come on man. I have a pretty high bar for incredulity — I’ve been covering politics for the better part of two decades — but to say that Pence’s statement strains credulity is the understatement of the year.
To believe Pence, you have to believe that he simply cannot remember whether he has been told to be on alert to assume the duties of the presidency if Trump needed to go under for any sort of procedure.
This is not like being asked to remember what you ate for dinner last Tuesday. Or whether you left your wallet in your car. Does Pence truly believe that ANYONE thinks that he wouldn’t remember the time when he was alerted to the possibility that he might have to assume the duties of the President of the United States? Like, is that something you just forget?
OF COURSE it isn’t. And Pence’s reply that as vice president you always have to be on standby is like an understudy in a Broadway show saying, “Well, you always have to be on standby” when asked if he had ever played the lead role on stage. Give me a break! That understudy not only remembers every second of that lead performance but also understands the radical difference between that night and all the other noted when the lead actor did the performance while he waited in the wings.
Pence’s “I don’t recall” response on Trump’s hospital visit is not only ridiculous but also adds to the mystery surrounding the actual trip. Had he simply said “Yes, I do remember that. The move was taken out of an abundance of caution and never amounted to anything” it would be a whole heck of a lot less suspicious than what he did say.
“[White House press secretary Stephanie] Grisham on Saturday said Trump decided to get parts of his physical done early because he had a ‘free weekend’ in Washington, but did not responded to questions about why Trump did not get his full physical exam — which typically takes 4 hours — done this weekend.”
Trump, in an attempt, I guess, to knock down the questions being raised about the visit, actually created more with a string of tweets on Tuesday.
OK … but the thing is that the White House said at the time that Trump went to Walter Reed to start his annual physical, not to finish it up as Trump claimed in the tweet Tuesday night. Nitpicking? Maybe, but not when you consider the broader inconsistencies in the story the White House has been telling about the Walter Reed visit — and Pence’s beyond-belief response that he doesn’t remember whether he had been told to be ready to assume the duties of the presidency.
With every passing day, the White House continues to create more reason to believe that we just aren’t getting the whole story here. And that more questions need to be asked.