- White House aides believed around 2017 that Vice President Mike Pence could support using the US Constitution to push President Donald Trump from power, a coming book reportedly says.
- HuffPost’s Yashar Ali said Wednesday night that he had obtained excerpts from “A Warning,” written by an anonymous current or former official in the Trump administration.
- The person reportedly described internal White House discussions involving the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president to take over the US government if the president is deemed incapable.
- The excerpts said officials believed Pence would go for it if the idea had the support of a majority of Trump’s Cabinet.
- Pence has strongly denied supporting such a move. A few Washington insiders also cast doubt on the idea.
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A coming book apparently says that White House officials once believed that Vice President Mike Pence would support forcing President Donald Trump from power via the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment.
HuffPost‘s Yashar Ali obtained excerpts of the book “A Warning” before its November 19 release date. The book is said to have been written by an anonymous current or former official in the Trump administration.
The leaked portions, which Ali said he obtained on condition that he not publish them verbatim, said that Trump’s behavior following his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey in 2017 had prompted White House officials to consider trying to use Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Section 4 describes how a president considered unfit for office could be replaced by the vice president. It has never been used.
According to Ali, the book excerpt said the senior White House officials believed such a move would have Pence’s backing should it get the necessary support from a majority of Cabinet members.
Pence has strongly denied suggestions that he considered using the 25th Amendment. On Wednesday, following Ali’s report, Katie Waldman, Pence’s press secretary, called the claim “FAKE NEWS.”
The official thought to have written the book has mentioned the 25th Amendment before.
In a 2018 op-ed article for The New York Times, which caused a firestorm at the time, the official wrote: “Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the Cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”
Pence then denied that he had ever been a part of those discussions, saying so at the time in an interview with Margaret Brennan, the moderator of the CBS show “Face the Nation.”
Shortly after Ali shared the article on Twitter, people were quick to dispute the claim.
A source close to the Vice President: “There is zero chance this is accurate.” https://t.co/EQVPIoLFMH
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) November 7, 2019
Axios’ Jonathan Swan wrote in a now-deleted tweet that it was “hilarious nonsense” that Pence would support invoking the 25th Amendment. The tweet was retweeted by The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Donald Trump Jr.
???????????? What a joke, his/her credibility already going down the toilet. https://t.co/D3N05ZMgbM
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 7, 2019
What Mr Swan said. https://t.co/Pusp82bCJR
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) November 7, 2019
Representatives from the White House did not immediately respond to emails for comment from Business Insider.
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