Pence: Anonymous New York Times op-ed "an assault on our democracy"

Pence: NYT op-ed "assault on our democracy"
Pence: NYT op-ed "assault on our democracy" 06:13

Vice President Mike Pence says he's "100 percent confident" that no one from his office was involved in writing the damning New York Times op-ed by a purported "senior administration official" detailing a "resistance" effort inside the executive branch. Pence called the opinions expressed in the piece "un-American" and "an assault on our democracy."

In an interview Saturday, "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan asked Pence, "So you don't think anyone on your staff — since they're calling themselves the Trump appointee — had anything to do with this?"

"I just — I wouldn't know. And I would — I really would hope not," Pence replied. "And I was I was heartened to see so many of our colleagues make it very clear that they weren't involved in this in any way."

After the interview, Pence said he had misunderstood the question and asked if he could clarify his answer.

"Mr. Vice President, I asked you earlier if anyone on your staff wrote this op-ed. Have you asked your staff?" Brennan asked once the cameras were back on.

"Oh, well, I thought you were speaking about the administration staff," Pence said. "Let me be very clear: I'm 100 percent confident that no one on the vice president's staff was involved in this anonymous editorial. I know my people, Margaret. They get up every day and are dedicated, just as much as I am, to advancing the president's agenda and supporting everything the President Trump is doing for the people of this country."

The author of the op-ed, described by the New York Times as a senior administration official, wrote that executive branch staffers are "working to insulate their operations from [Mr. Trump's] whims" and that his "impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back." 

Pence's comments mark the second time the vice president's team has denied involvement. Pence's deputy chief of staff Jarrod Agen tweeted that the vice president "puts his name on his op-eds," unlike the author of the Times piece.

Many senior officials in the Trump administration, including a majority of Cabinet members, have also denied being the author. In an editor's note, the Times said it knows the author's identity but agreed not to reveal it because the person's job would be jeopardized.

While Pence didn't specify if he had specifically asked members of his staff if they penned the piece, he said he didn't think he had to.

"I don't have to ask them because I know them. I know their character. I know their dedication, and I am absolutely confident that no one on the vice president's staff had anything to do with this," Pence said. "But that being said, you know, whoever this was, they should do the honorable thing and resign."

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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"