Even as Donald Trump continued to implicate his Vice President in the ever-growing Ukraine scandal, Mike Pence stayed the course and parroted the president’s politically paranoid attacks on his predecessor, Joe Biden, in an interview the vice president gave in Scottsdale, Arizona this morning
Or perhaps he is slyly aiming a backhanded assault on his own boss by making accusations against his predecessor in the VP seat that have been obviously and transparently applicable to Trump since his first day in office.
Whatever his intent, Pence invited extreme ridicule as he lobbed insinuations of corruption at Joe Biden in relation to his son Hunter’s business activities in Ukraine.
“One of the main reasons we were elected to Washington, D.C., was to drain the swamp,” Pence straight-facedly told reporters after an event in Scottsdale. “And I think the American people have a right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position.”
“Clearly in this case there are legitimate questions that ought to be asked, and we’re going to continue to ask them since the American people have a right to know whether or not the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position,” he added.
Saying that it’s “worth looking into” any hints of corrupt behavior involving the Bidens, the vice president left observers dumbstruck as he described a situation that anyone with half a brain couldn’t help but compare to Trump’s own emoluments-laden term to date.
“The simple fact is that when you hold the second-highest office in the land it comes with unique responsibilities, not just to be above impropriety but you have to be above the appearance of impropriety,” Pence said.
One would imagine if those responsibilities apply to the “second-highest office in the land” then it would be even more crucial that the president himself is seen to be “above the appearance of impropriety,” but between Pence’s own inconvenient and expensive decision to stay at a Trump hotel four hours away from his Dublin meetings during a recent diplomatic trip to Ireland and the news that foreign governments have been funneling money into Trump’s pockets by booking expensive luxury rooms at his properties when they have no intention of even staying in them, it seems that the administration is promoting a policy of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Working for a president who is the poster boy for impropriety with his near-weekly government-funded trips to his own properties where he makes copious amounts of money on everything from room charges for his extensive retinue to food and beverages for the crowd of aides and golf carts for his Secret Service detail, Pence himself — along with his campaign staff — is estimated to have spent nearly a quester of a million dollars at Trump properties.
Meanwhile, the website trumpgolfcount.com estimates that Trump’s visits to his own properties have cost taxpayers in excess of $109 million dollars.
The shamelessness of Pence’s hypocritical invocation of Trump’s swamp-draining slogan — while standing up to his neck in the alligator and snake-infested moat (or moot, if you go by the president’s unique variant of the spelling) that is the president’s natural environment — is obvious to anyone not wearing the blinders that seem to be standard issue among Republicans these days.
The sad truth is that still too many people in this country — the ones who solely get their news through Fox and other right-wing propaganda outlets — don the same blinders when gazing at the Trump administration and are all too willing to take his ludicrous political slander as truth when each accusation the president — and his compliant surrogate, Pence — hurls is so blatantly a mere projection of his own criminal mentality upon his opponents.
All the more reason that the impeachment process needs to be moved forward as expeditiously as possible.
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Original reporting by Brett Samuels at The Hill.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.