- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

With the Trump administration under siege, Vice President Mike Pence told students Wednesday that leaders need “a healthy dose of courage” to achieve their goals.

Speaking at a national student leadership conference at American University, Mr. Pence didn’t directly refer to the latest allegations of Russian collusion involving President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. But Mr. Pence said courage under fire is crucial in politics.

“As President Trump said just a few months ago, nothing worth doing ever came easy,” Mr. Pence said. “Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right, and no truer words are spoken.”

He told the students, “if you aspire to lead, you’ll need a healthy dose of courage because leadership brings honor and opposition.”

Some White House aides have criticized Mr. Pence anonymously this week for his office issuing statements that distanced him from the controversy involving the younger Trump.

Mr. Pence pointed to the president’s speech in Poland last week as an example of his leadership on the world stage.

“That’s what American leadership looks like,” Mr. Pence said. “Serving with him every day, I know President Trump will continue to provide that leadership at home and abroad. This president has no higher priority than the security and safety of the American people and our prosperity.”

He told the students that leaders must “expect criticism.”

“Listen to it. Have the humility to learn from it. And then push through it. That’s the essence of leadership,” the vice president said.

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