Vice President Pence on Saturday referenced reports that he doesn't eat alone with women other than his wife following intense interest in the topic online this week.

"Speaking of my wife Karen, she's really sorry she couldn't be with us today, she already had dinner plans," Pence joked during a speech in Columbus, Ohio.

The joke was in reference to a Washington Post profile of Karen Pence this week that described her as a constant presence at the vice president's side and a "gut check" on his major decisions.


The story sparked a flood of conversation online, particularly over Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOvernight Health Care: Trump officials sued over Medicaid work requirements in New Hampshire | Analysis contradicts HHS claims on Arkansas Medicaid changes | Azar signals HHS won't back down on e-cigs Trump health chief backs needle exchanges in anti-HIV strategy Pence travels to Nebraska to survey flood damage MORE's 2002 comment to The Hill that he does not dine privately with other women or attend events with alcohol unless his wife is there.

Trump on Friday also addressed the topic, quipping during a signing ceremony for a pair of executive orders on trade: "I tell you one thing, he has one hell of a good marriage going."

Pence's speech Saturday marked his third consecutive weekend trip to promote the Trump administration's agenda, following trips to West Virginia and Florida.

Trump's young administration has faced turmoil in recent weeks after the GOP's healthcare bill was pulled and amid other revelations about congressional investigations in Russia's intervention in last year's campaign.