As the White House engages in damage control over President Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey and allegations the president divulged classified information to Russia, Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly worn down by all the controversy. A senior administration adviser told CNN on Thursday the vice president “looks tired” amid Trump’s mounting troubles, though Pence will continue to be a “loyal soldier.” The adviser hinted that the barrage of damning news stories was more than Pence was prepared for. “We certainly knew we needed to be prepared for the unconventional,” he said, but “not to this extent.” Pence’s silence on the recent issues has raised eyebrows, as Trump’s righthand man has yet to offer a substantial statement on the negative news stories.
The vice president has not commented on Wednesday’s report that Trump asked Comey to stop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia. Instead, Pence on Thursday issued a statement in response to a New York Times report that Trump’s transition officials were aware Flynn was under federal investigation when they picked him for the job. “The vice president stands by his comments in March upon first hearing the news regarding General Flynn’s ties to Turkey and fully supports the President’s decision to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” an aide to the vice president told CNN. Pence’s statement failed to explain how he could have been unaware of Flynn’s warning, as Pence was the head of Trump’s transition team at the time of Flynn’s disclosure.