The White House has denied claims that Trump joked about Mike Pence’s anti-gay views.
According to a report in The New Yorker on Monday, the President of the United States likes to “let Pence know who’s boss” by making jokes about his religious views, as well as his conservative stance on women’s reproductive rights and LGBT+ equality.
During a meeting between the two Republicans and a legal scholar, when the issue of gay rights came up, Trump reportedly joked: “Don’t ask that guy – he wants to hang them all!”
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 17, 2017
Elsewhere in the New Yorker article, it’s claimed that when guests visited Pence’s office during the president’s 2016 election campaign, Trump would often ask them, “Did Mike make you pray?”
Later, when Pence was told his attempts to re-criminalise abortion would be futile, Trump reportedly prodded: “You see? You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.”
But those claims have now been refuted by the White House.
“Articles like this are why the American people have lost so much faith in the press,” the vice president’s representative, Alyssa Farah, said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star.
“The New Yorker piece is filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive.”
While critics have long called for the impeachment of Trump over his outrageous behaviour as President of the United States, the prospect of ultra-conservative Vice President Pence taking his place seems even worse.
Pence, the former Governor of Indiana, has repeatedly shown an anti-LGBT stance during his career – he supports discrimination based on religious beliefs, said same-sex marriage would lead to “societal collapse”, and voted against passing a non-discrimination act.
Back in 2000, Pence proposed a shift in government funds from the Ryan White Act (which helps those living with HIV/AIDS) to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour”.