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During Thursday night’s Fox News town hall event, President Donald Trump addressed rumors about his 2020 vice president slot head on.
Trump brought up the reports concerning Vice President Mike Pence being replaced when Fox News host Bret Baier asked the president who his closest friend is in Washington.
“Well, I get along great with our vice president,” Trump told Baier.
“I keep hearing I’m replacing him,” the president noted of the incessant reports and speculation. “Every day, I hear ‘He’s going to put this one and that one’ [on the 2020 ticket].”
Seemingly dispelling the idea of a new VP, Trump added, “If I did, that would be a great act of disloyalty.”
.@BretBaier asks Trump who his closest friend is in DC: "Well, I get along great with our vice president. I keep hearing I’m replacing him. Every day, I hear 'he’s going to put this one and that one' [on the 2020 ticket]. If I did that would be a great act of disloyalty."
— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) March 6, 2020
For well over a year, rumors have swirled that Trump will drop Pence for a new VP, namely former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Earlier this week, for example, CNN political analyst Paul Begala “guaranteed” that the president was “gonna dump Mike Pence in favor of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley” when the Democratic nominee is slated to give their acceptance speech on July 16, The Hill reported.
“This is not a prediction. It’s a certainty,” said Begala. “On Thursday, July 16 — that’s the date the Democrat gives his or her acceptance address — on that day, to interrupt that narrative, Donald Trump will call a press conference at Mar-a-Lago. He’s going to dump Mike Pence and put Nikki Haley on the ticket to try to get those suburban moms.”
According to The Hill, Begala made the remarks during a panel discussion at the D.C.-based American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) conference on Monday.
After similar speculation popped up last year, President Trump reiterated the same about Pence, calling him “our man.”
“Mike Pence is a great vice president, he’s our man 100 percent,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt in November, as noted by The Daily Wire.
“Mike Pence — I know I’ve seen this rumor that keeps popping up, and Nikki would be great, but Mike Pence has done a phenomenal job as vice president,” he added. “He’s our guy, he’s my friend, and look, we have a great team.”
The rumors about Haley as VP were sparked after the former governor resigned from her United Nations ambassadorship.
“For all of you that are going to ask about 2020 — no, I am not running for 2020,” Haley said soon after her resignation. “I can promise you what I will be doing is campaigning for this one. So, I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Moreover, in August, Haley similarly tweeted: “Enough of the false rumors. Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the president. He has my complete support.”
President Trump recently tapped Pence to help lead the efforts responding to the coronavirus. “I know full well the importance of presidential leadership, the importance of administration leadership, and the vital role of partnerships of state and local governments and health authorities in responding to the potential threat of dangerous infectious diseases,” Pence said, according to U.S. News.