Following a Washington Post story revealing scathing comments made by then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during an unused Access Hollywood segment, Mike Pence reportedly refused to take his running mate’s calls. In a letter to Trump, the Indiana governor said he and his wife Karen Pence had to make an “assessment” about how they wanted to proceed. The presidential nominee ultimately apologized, for which Pence said he was “grateful” in a subsequent statement. He even went on to defend his political partner against subsequent allegations of sexual harassment, calling them “unsubstantiated claims.”
A new story in The Atlantic, however, casts the tension between the two men prior to Trump’s public apology as far worse than previously reported. According to author McKay Coppins, Pence “made it clear” to the Republican leadership that he was willing to replace Trump almost immediately:
[A]ccording to several Republicans familiar with the situation, he wasn’t just thinking about dropping out — he was contemplating a coup. Within hours of The Post’s bombshell, Pence made it clear to the Republican National Committee that he was ready to take Trump’s place as the party’s nominee. Such a move just four weeks before Election Day would have been unprecedented — but the situation seemed dire enough to call for radical action.
Aside from Pence’s apparent offer, other cogs in the GOP’s wheel were reportedly turning — all with the express intention of booting Trump. Calls from “panicked” politicians and donors flooded into Reince Priebus’s office, party lawyers researched whether or not it was possible to legally remove Trump from the ticket, and a few billionaires even hashed out a plan to buy the real estate mogul’s departure for $800 million. Buzz from these various meetings even suggested the possibility of a new ticket with Pence and former State Secretary Condoleezza Rice.
(Via The Atlantic)