According to a report from The New York Times, President Trump has privately questioned his Vice President, Mike Pence’s loyalty. The president has reportedly been talking to aides, asking if Pence is loyalty with enough frequency to cause alarm amongst White House staff. When the president fixates on a person in that way, aides say it suggests that he is displeased with that person.
In response, staff within the White House have been generally supportive of the vice president. Outside the White House, however, some of the president’s confidants have suggested that the vice president may no longer be of use to President Trump.
Earlier this month, the president asked the vice president to be his running mate in his re-election bid in 2020. The exchange was unplanned and took place during a freewheeling press conference at the White House. The president said of Pence’s place on the ticket, “Well I haven’t asked him, but I hope so.” He went on, “Mike, will you be my running mate?” Pence responded, nodding his head while White House staff applauded.
The impromptu exchange may or may not have been an official announcement that the vice president will run alongside the president as he seeks re-election in 2020. White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told The New York Times, “absolutely supports the vice president and thinks he’s doing an incredible job helping to carry out the mission and policies of this administration.”
The Times noted that some outside advisers have suggested former United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley as a potential replacement for Pence. Trump praised Haley when she announced her intentions to leave her post at the UN in October.
Dan Pfeiffer served as a communications director under former President Obama. He said, “The idea of changing a ticket has been discussed by at least some aides in every White House and it almost never happens.” He continued, “I would also say the electoral significance of the vice-presidential nominee is one of the most overrated things in U.S. politics, particularly in a re-election, which is almost always a referendum on the performance of the president.” He added, “Changing the No. 2 is not going to change that.”