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Pence Denies Discussing Invoking 25th Amendment

(CBS News) — In an interview to air Sunday on "Face the Nation," Vice President Mike Pence denied being a part of discussions to invoke the 25th Amendment, removing President Trump from office.

"No, never. And why would we be Margaret?" the vice president told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan.

"The truth of the matter is over the last eight years despite what we heard from President Obama on Friday, I mean this country was struggling. I mean it was the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression," Pence said.

The two spoke in his residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory.

"I think the author of the anonymous editorial, and frankly The New York Times, should be ashamed," Pence told Brennan, denouncing it as a "disgrace."

The vice president was responding to claims made this week in a rare anonymous op-ed published by The New York Times. The op-ed's author, identified as a "senior administration official," claims to be part of a "quiet resistance" working to thwart President Trump's "occasionally reckless decisions" from within the administration.

In it, the official describes "early whispers within the cabinet" to invoke the 25th Amendment, prompted by the president's apparent "instability."

The 25th amendment empowers the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to replace the president, in the case he is deemed "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." In the years since the amendment's ratification in 1967, the mechanism has never been used.

The president on Friday publicly implored his attorney general to investigate the identity of the author, later accusing the "senior administration official" of treason.

Pence told Brennan he "wouldn't know" who wrote the op-ed.

"But it seems to me to be just an obvious attempt to distract attention from this booming economy and President Trump's record of success," Pence told Brennan.

More of Margaret Brennan's interview with Vice President Mike Pence will air Sunday on "Face the Nation."

And for more from America's premier public affairs program, follow "Face the Nation" on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

— Alexander Tin

(© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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