President Donald Trump has turned to aides and advisers in recent weeks questioning whether his vice president is sufficiently loyal, according to The New York Times, despite having said during a press conference last week that he feels “very fine” about Mike Pence.
> President Trump’s post-midterm election news conference at the White House last week took a surprising turn when a reporter asked about locking down his 2020 ticket.
> “Mike, will you be my running mate?” Mr. Trump asked Vice President Pence, who stood up, raised his hand, and nodded.
> “Will you? Thank you. O.K., good,” the president said. “That was unexpected, but I feel very fine.”
In private, Trump appears less sure of his likely running mate.
The Times reported that some of the president’s advisers have grown alarmed by the number of times Trump has raised the issue, even though he has not openly discussed choosing a different running mate for 2020.
The fact that Trump is asking could mean he has become irritated with Pence, his advisers said.
> Within the White House, most people he has talked to have assured the president that Mr. Pence has been a committed soldier, engaging in activities that Mr. Trump has eschewed, such as traveling to Hawaii to receive the remains of veterans of the Korean War, or visiting parts of the globe that Mr. Trump has avoided.
> But some Trump advisers, primarily outside the White House, have suggested to him that while Mr. Pence remains loyal, he may have used up his utility. These advisers argue that Mr. Trump has forged his own relationship with evangelical voters, and that what he might benefit from more is a running mate who could help him with women voters, who disapprove of him in large numbers.