And now Donald Trump is throwing VP Mike Pence under the bus in order to ensure Pence doesn't try to stab him in the back, because this is, as the kids say, a multinational criminal syndicate masquerading as a government.
President Donald Trump told Vice President Mike Pence to cancel his plans to attend the inauguration of Ukraine’s new president earlier this year after initially pushing for him to go, according to a person familiar with the matter, confirming an assertion from the whistleblower now at the center of an impeachment investigation into Trump.
Aides to Pence disputed that, blaming logistics _ not Trump _ for the decision.
The aides who rushed to defend Pence added that the vice president never mentioned Trump’s potential Democratic rival Joe Biden in repeated conversations he has had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, including some that were part of a campaign to pressure the new government on corruption.
Trump has said he raised Biden as an example of corruption in Ukraine in a summertime phone call with Zelenskiy that now at the center of the impeachment probe. There is no evidence that Biden was involved in corruption in the eastern European nation.
Throughout Trump’s presidency, Pence has been a loyal lieutenant, praising him effusively and defending him aggressively. But the vice president has rarely been drawn into any direct controversy involving the president until now.
The controversy focuses on a July 25 phone call in which Trump, according to a rough transcript released by the White House, repeatedly pressed Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his family. The intelligence community whistleblower said it was part of a broader effort by the president and his lawyers to solicit a foreign country to dig up dirt on a political rival for president in 2020.
Pence, according to aides, did not listen in on that call.
Pence has served as a key intermediary between the United States and Ukraine. In the complaint, the whistleblower says he or she had learned from U.S. officials that “on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President Zelenskiy’s inauguration on 20 May” and sent Energy Secretary Rick Perry to lead the delegation instead.
The whistleblower also alleged that Trump had made clear that a meeting or phone call between himself and Zelenskiy would depend on whether Zelenskiy “showed willingness to ‘play ball’” on issues including investigating the Bidens and a conspiracy theory about the origins of the investigation into Russian election meddling.
A person familiar with the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, said it was Trump who directed Pence to skip the event.
This is of course someone in the White House making sure Pence goes down if Trump does, or trying to anyway. I wouldn't know if Pence would be impeached either, but he may be forced to resign or into a caretaker role if Trump gets sunk. At this point a lot of paths are open, but very few of them lead to where Mike Pence is President for longer than a year and change.
Still, two major admissions in this leak: Trump is scared, and he doesn't trust Pence.