Mike Pence is either a dupe, a liar, or preparing to move into the Oval Office
When it was revealed Thursday that President Trump was well aware Michael Flynn was under investigation when he strong-armed the general into serving as his nat sec adviser, questions immediately were raised about what that might mean for Vice President Mike Pence.
Back in February, the mother lover had on multiple occasions stated that Flynn was a stand up guy and had no improper conversations with Russian officials. Of course, it was revealed that the retired lieutenant general had, in fact, had improper conversations with Russian officials, and the official White House line was that Flynn had misled the vice president, also the official reasoning for his termination.
But if President Trump knew all along that Flynn was under investigation for these contacts, even before the inauguration, that would mean either that 1) Trump didn’t inform Pence of it and let him go out on national television and give statements the president knew to be false, or 2) Pence was in the loop all along and knowingly lied about the former nat sec adviser. He’s either a dupe or a phony.
Either option is plausible, and we can draw significant conclusions from them both. Regarding the possibility that Pence is a dunce and being kept in the dark, this wouldn’t be the only time he’s gone on the record only for his comments to later be contradicted by some statement from the president. Take James Comey’s firing last week — Pence told the press that the decision was based primarily on the recommendation of Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, something that Trump said was false just two days later. With Pence representing the GOP establishment that never really wanted Trump in the first place, it’s highly possible the president has erected a wall around himself, is not sharing information with his vice president, and is all to eager to throw him under the bus.
Of course, Pence wasn’t the only official who repeated the line about Rosenstein, and the idea of Trump pulling the wool over anyone would require some suspension of belief.
So the other option is that Pence is just a liar, and he knew about Flynn all along. When it went public that the general had conversed inappropriately with the Russians, the White House’s only option was to say the general had misled Pence — otherwise the vice president would’ve been outed as a fibber just a few weeks after inauguration. But saving Pence tied Trump’s hands — he couldn’t have the public thinking he’d let his nat sec adviser go around lying to top officials in the White House — and he had to ax Flynn, something he didn’t want to do.
That all seems seems more likely given everything we know, but as far as Pence is concerned, it’s better to be an idiot than a deceiver. So long as he’s just a dummy, he’s not implicated in any of this mess that is looking more likely to be ending in impeachment for the president. If that happens, you can be sure Trump’s head won’t be the only one to roll, so Pence is keeping his mouth shut and playing the long game. This week he formed his own leadership PAC to channel money to Republicans in Congress ahead of the 2018 midterms, the sort of move politicians often make when they’re looking to cultivate support before taking a stab at a higher office.
It might turn out to be Pence, then, who is all too eager to steer the bus at his current boss, not the other way around.