- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 6, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday called a report that he may be preparing a 2020 presidential run “categorically false” and accused the media of attempting to “divide this administration.”

The vice president weighed in shortly after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway dismissed the speculation as “complete fiction,” saying Mr. Pence’s only interest is in running for reelection with President Trump.

“It is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020 — for re-election as vice president,” Ms. Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The reaction came after The New York Times reported Saturday that Mr. Pence’s schedule is “so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.”

Mr. Pence said the article was “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family and our entire team.”

“The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration,” said Mr. Pence in a statement.

Newsweek jumped on the report with the headline, “Mike Pence preparing 2020 election run against ‘weak’ Trump?”

“That is complete fiction. That is complete fabrication,” Ms. Conway said. “And I know that his advisers who had comments attributed to them have pushed back strongly, as has the vice president. And as am I right now unequivocally.”

She emphasized that the former Indiana governor was “very loyal” to President Trump.

“Vice President Pence is a very loyal, very dutiful, but also incredibly effective vice president, and active vice president, with this president,” said Ms. Conway. “He is a peer to the president in the West Wing.”

She chalked up the speculation to Republican consultants playing the “parlor game” who are not in the Trump “inner circle.”

Added Mr. Pence: “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”

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