Trump Splits With Pence. But Insists That They’re Still Friends.

It’s complicated.

Kevin Dietsch/ZUMA

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Were you under the impression that Mike Pence could join Donald Trump’s all but confirmed reelection bid? Probably not! For both men, and for yourself, that would take an enormous, Herculean bout of political amnesia to forget that the former president’s supporters once sought to hang Pence—and that Trump seemed very chill with those threats.

Well, Trump has effectively made it official, telling the Washington Examiner this week that he very likely wouldn’t pick Pence to be his running mate. “I don’t think the people would accept it,” he explained, citing Pence’s refusal to overturn the 2020 election results as the defining catalyst for the break-up.

“Mike and I had a great relationship except for the very important factor that took place at the end,” he continued. “We had a very good relationship. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.”

“I still like Mike,” Trump added.

Pence is likely to welcome the latest remarks. In recent weeks, the former VP, who is reportedly mounting his own presidential bid, has signaled a break with Trump, particularly as his pro-Putin views have become problematic for Trumpist Republicans. “There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence told GOP donors days after Trump called the Russian leader a “genius.”

Of course, Pence declined to directly condemn his former boss. And judging by Trump’s efforts to characterize their relationship as still friendly despite the breakup, we can expect the two men to continue pretending that they’re still on good terms. After all, there are political benefits for both of them.

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