Drain the Swamp
Pence Says Media Create ‘Parallel Universe’ on Trump White House
Veep insists anonymous New York Times op-ed and new Bob Woodward book give public a false picture of the president
Vice President Mike Pence told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that he watches “a little bit of TV in the morning, and then I go to the White House and I feel like I’m in a parallel universe,” thanks to biased reporting by journalists.
Pence was responding to Wallace’s comment that journalist Bob Woodward, in his just-published book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” “describes what he calls a nervous breakdown inside the Trump administration” that results from President Donald Trump’s personality and management style.
“That’s absolutely absurd. And I have to tell you, to be honest with you, Chris, sometimes I watch a little bit of TV in the morning, and then I go to the White House, and I feel like I’m in a parallel universe,” Pence said.
The vice president continued: “I walk into a White House where there’s a president behind the desk; he’s in command. He’s constantly driving forward on delivering on the promises that we made for the American people.
“And then I go home at night and I see cable TV talking about all of this stuff about disarray in the White House, and it’s just not my experience … I tell people, ‘Look at the results.’”
The results, according to Pence, include “passage of historic tax cuts for businesses and individuals, and the way that jobs are coming back, and investment is coming back. The renegotiation of trade deals, our allies contributing more to our common defense.”
Pence said those accomplishments are possible “because we have a president of almost boundless energy who comes in every day, regardless of what’s happening in the Washington media culture, and says, ‘What are we doing today to deliver for the American people?'”
Woodward, who first rose to national prominence in his reporting at The Washington Post with colleague Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal, which drove President Richard Nixon from office, creates in his new book an image of a presidential administration in continuous turmoil, marked by disorganization and unpredictability.
Woodward told “CBS Morning News” on Sunday that “you look at the operation of this White House, and you have to say, ‘Let’s hope to God we don’t have a crisis.'”
During a speech on Friday, Trump called Woodward an “idiot” and his book “all fiction.”
Coincidentally, the Woodward book appeared in bookstores the same week The New York Times published an op-ed by an anonymous author claiming to be a “senior administration official” working for the president.
Wallace quoted the op-ed author’s claim that he or she and “many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions, while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
Pence blasted the author, telling Wallace, “The honorable thing to do here is for this individual to recognize that they are, they’re literally, violating an oath if they are that senior administration official — that they’re violating an oath, not to the president, but to the Constitution.”
When Wallace asked if Pence considered the author’s actions treasonous, the vice president responded, “Look, it’s un-American. And I think that’s why you’ve seen Republicans and Democrats condemn this. The American people vote for a president. They fully expect the president to be able to surround themselves with men and women who will work with them in advancing their agenda.”
“But to have someone who literally celebrates coming in every day to frustrate the agenda that the president and I were elected to advance, it really is an assault on our democracy. And it should be universally condemned.”
Pence was apparently alluding to comments by Democrats such as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) who told CNN on Thursday that “I’m not celebrating the authorship of this piece,” and suggested, according to the cable network, that the author is “someone who is trying to protect the job interests of those working for the Trump administration that still want to work in Washington post-Trump presidency.”
“The truth is, the American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they elected President Donald Trump.”
Wallace opened the interview, which was conducted Saturday at the vice presidential mansion in northwest Washington, D.C., by asking Pence for his reaction to former President Barack Obama’s speech on Friday at the University of Illinois.
Obama was sharply critical of Trump on multiple issues, most notably claiming the economic recovery frequently extolled by his successor actually began as a result of his policies in 2015.
“The truth is, the American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they elected President Donald Trump,” Pence said. “Look, we inherited an economy that was growing a little bit more than 1 percent. In the last quarter, our economy is growing at 4.2 percent. Four million new jobs, unemployment at a 50-year low.”
Obama’s economic policies, according to Pence, “resulted in less than 2 percent growth, which saw tax increases, Obamacare regulation, and a doubling of the national debt.”
The former president’s criticisms, Pence told Wallace, “just illuminates the choice the American people have in the midterm elections.”