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Biographer: Pence thinks God ‘calling him’ to be president
Michael D'Antonio, a CNN contributor and biographer who wrote "The Truth About Trump," said in a new interview that Vice President Pence believes God is "calling him" to "function as a president-in-waiting."
"Absolutely everything Mike Pence does is oriented toward him becoming president," D'Antonio said during an appearance on CNN on Tuesday in promotion of his new book, "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence."
Pence did not participate in the writing of the book or provide access to D'Antonio.
"His decision to accept Donald Trump's offer to be his running mate - it even goes back much further," D'Antonio claimed. "By the time he had left high school, he had decided that he was going to be president of the United States. ... He thought God was calling him to, now, be vice president and function as a president-in-waiting."
The author added that Pence has been "effective in this pursuit" by becoming a member of Congress, governor of Indiana and now vice president.
"We see Donald Trump in this huge crisis, this rolling chaos," D'Antonio said. "And I think, with every day, Mike Pence imagines he's one day closer to the Oval Office."
When asked by CNN host John Berman if he believes the vice president is "maneuvering to get the top job" at the expense of Trump, D'Antonio also replied: "Oh, I think yes."
"I think he's positioning himself to be the normal guy - the guy you can trust," D'Antonio continued, adding that though the vice president has been seen in recent weeks around the country promoting the president's agenda, Pence is "really promoting the development of his own network."
"He established a PAC before any vice president did. His infrastructure for running for office is complete," D'Antonio added. "So, should Trump stumble, should he decide not to run again, Pence 2020 would be an automatic thing."
A White House source said in a statement to The Hill that D'Antonio's assertion is "false."
"The Vice President has a leadership PAC, much like Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell," the source explained. "Legally, this could never be turned into a vehicle (i.e. Super PAC or other campaign vehicle) to run for President. So the assertion is totally ungrounded."
Updated at 10:49 a.m.