Throughout the campaign and into his Vice Presidency, Mike Pence has vehemently denied having any contact with Russian officials. He has also denied numerous times that anyone in the Trump administration had contacts with officials tied to the Kremlin as well. Considering all of these denials in the past, one would have imagined that the Vice President’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, would easily be able to answer the question as to whether or not Mike Pence had ever met with Russian representatives. Right?
In an interview on Fox news yesterday, Bill Hemmer asked these very questions, and Lotter seemed to immediately get tongue tied. Asked multiple times whether Pence had met with Russian representatives, Lotter bobbed and weaved around, not quite answering the question. Below is a transcript of the interview, followed by a video clip of the same interview:
HEMMER: Did the ice president ever meet with representatives from Russia?
LOTTER: The vice president is, is, is not focused on the areas where, you know, on this campaign, especially things that happened before he was on the ticket, as he has said, that when he joined the campaign, his entire focus was on talking to the American people, taking the case that President Trump was going to make to the American people and doing everything he could to make sure that he and President Trump were elected, sent to Washington. Now his focus is getting that agenda accomplished.
HEMMER: I understand. Fully aware of that statement there. Just come back to this question: If it wasn’t a private citizen from Russia, did he ever meet with representatives from the Russian government during the campaign?
LOTTER: That’s stuff that the special prosecutors and the prosecutors are all looking at. I can tell you that, that in all my time with the vice president, I knew – that he was focused entirely on talking to the American people, taking his case to the American people and making sure that the people knew why they needed to send President Trump and Vice President Pence to Washington. And now they’re working on enacting they’re agenda.
HEMMER: Just to nail this down so we’re clear, is that a yes or a no? Did he or did he not and was it relevant, in fact?
LOTTER: I’m not aware of anything that I have seen. All of the focus that I saw was the vice president, Pence, during the campaign and since then, has been focused on working the agenda that the people sent him to Washington to accomplish. That’s what the vice president’s doing. That’s what the president is doing. We’re seeing the results today. We’re seeing the results today. We’re seeing, uh, jobless, you know, jobs being created, border crossings down, ISIS on the run and near defeat. Those are the kinds of things that the American people are focused on. That’s the message that the vice president’s taking –
HEMMER: When was the White House aware of [Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting] at Trump Tower?
LOTTER: I don’t know all the details. I will refer you to those details to what Mr. Trump has said and their attorneys have said. I can just tell you, as the vice president said yesterday, he was not aware of that meeting which took place more than a month before he even joined the campaign. But his entire focus is not on the Russia connections and dealings. He’s focused right now on moving the president’s agenda forward…
Asked three times whether Pence met with Russians, spokesman declines to answer pic.twitter.com/yBLImfxiFO
— Axios (@axios) July 13, 2017
As you can clearly see, Lotter acted as though he didn’t want to state that Vice President Pence had not met with any Russian officials, as he likely knows evidence will eventually prove him wrong.