Donald Trump slams New York Times ‘phony story’ that he doubts Mike Pence loyalty
President Trump on Saturday knocked down a New York Times report that he was questioning the loyalty of Vice President Mike Pence.
“He is 100 percent loyal,” said Mr. Trump, calling the report “a typical New York Times phony story.”
He said the story was more of a novel than a news story and the paper should retract it.
The newspaper claimed that several White House sources said the president was repeatedly asking about Mr. Pence’s loyalty, describing it as a sign that he was losing faith in the vice president and possibly thinking of another running mate for 2020.
Mr. Trump, who last week publicly asked Mr. Pence to be on the 2020 ticket, faulted the newspaper for not asking him before publishing the story.
“How do you do a story like that, and you don’t call the principal? I would give them a quote, I would say it’s not true,” said the president. “They make up phony stories, like you write a novel.”
Earlier, Mr. Pence also refuted the story, saying he and the president are “very close” and have a “very strong relationship.”
Mr. Pence, who is traveling in Asia, said that he and the president “had a good laugh” about the story when they spoke on the phone about it.
He said they talk to each other every day.
“The American people [and] this administration don’t put a lot of stock in anonymous sources,” said the vice president.