Mr. Milquetoast has some cojones after all.
That’s the surprising conclusion to be derived from an anecdote in an article published today in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Inside Donald Trump’s Last Days in the White House and Plans for a Comeback” by Author Michael C. Bender.
The article is derived from Bender’s upcoming book Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost — the latest in a series of lucrative book-length post-mortems for the Trump administration due out next week — and includes details of the twice-impeached president’s chaotic lame-duck period when he was desperately trying to retain his grasp on power by any means necessary.
Perhaps the most shocking detail revealed in Bender’s WSJ article, however, is a story that took place several years earlier in 2018 that delineates one of the few times that White House staff ever saw former Vice President Mike Pence explode out of his normal placid state akin to white bread slowly leavening.
The scene is a meeting between Pence and Trump along with various aides, shortly after the then-Vice President decided to hire the ubiquitous Trump crony Corey Lewandowski, the former manager of their 2016 campaign, for his own political committee.
Bender goes on to describe the incident thusly:
“Mr. Trump was holding a newspaper article about the hiring and said it made him look weak, like his team was abandoning him as he was probed for his campaign’s role in Russian election meddling. He crumpled the article and threw it at his vice president. “So disloyal,” Mr. Trump said.
The typically obsequious Pence reacted in a way that few had ever seen him like before, in Bender’s retelling of the story.
“Mr. Pence lost it,” he writes. “Mr. Kushner had asked him to hire Mr. Lewandowski, and he had discussed the plan with Mr. Trump over lunch. Mr. Pence picked up the article and threw it back at Mr. Trump. He leaned toward the president and pointed a finger a few inches from his chest. ‘We walked you through every detail of this,’ Mr. Pence snarled. ‘We did this for you—as a favor. And this is how you respond? You need to get your facts straight.’”
Mike Pence snarling?
And jabbing his finger at his obnoxious boss to whom his servility was as expected as the next day’s sunrise?
One wonders if Pence paid copious sums of money to Michael Bender to include this story in his book to rehabilitate his image as a passionless, evangelical Christian technocratic politician of little actual substance.
Bender, unfortunately, doesn’t include any details of Donald Trump’s reaction to this testosterone-fueled version of his normally obedient servant.
Assuming that Bender’s account is true, the world owes Mike Pence the tiniest of apologies for being slightly less lame than we all assumed that he is.
If only there was video footage!
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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.