Pence Praises Trump During Meeting With Republicans
“He spoke very favorably about his relationship with President Trump,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told CNN. “I got the sense they speak often and maintain the same personal friendship and relationship now that they have for four years.”
Banks said a group from his Republican Study Committee convened with Pence in the Washington region at the fellow Indianan’s transition office.
They discussed the way forward for the GOP while also speaking about what the party accomplished in the past.
Banks, whose office didn’t respond to a request for more information, believes Pence will have a more public presence in the coming months, after speaking little since he and Trump left office last month.
“He’ll be launching an organization defending the successful Trump-Pence record of the last four years,” Banks said.
The former vice president has spoken to Trump in recent weeks, a former aide said last week.
“The president thanked the vice president for his service, told him he did a great job, and they’ve even had conservations since then, including even this week,” Marc Short, the former aide, said during an appearance on Fox News.
Trump and Pence accomplished a lot together, “and they should be proud about that,” Short added.
Pence is not planning to appear at the popular Conservative Political Action Conference this week, a departure from previous years. The director of the conference called it “a mistake.”
One report alleged Trump wouldn’t speak to the event if Pence didn’t attend, but a spokesman for the former president said the report was “patently false,” noting it relied on anonymous sources.
“No such demand or request was ever made by President Trump, and in fact, President Trump and Vice President Pence had a great call last week!” he wrote in a tweet.
Questions about the relationship between the former running mates arose last month, when they diverged on how to handle counting electoral votes during a joint session of Congress.
Trump, who continues to insist he won the 2020 election, wanted Pence to intervene during the session when votes from some states were brought up, because of laws declared unconstitutional by courts, or measures alleged to be unconstitutional, or allegations of voter or election fraud.
Pence declined, saying he thought the Constitution constrained him from intervening as such in his role as president of the Senate.