Pence denies discussing invoking 25th Amendment against Trump

Pence denies discussing invoking 25th Amendment against Trump
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence denied that any discussions have taken place in the White House about the possibility of removing President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE by invoking the 25th Amendment in a new interview with CBS News set to air Sunday.

Asked whether any such discussions had taken place between members of Trump's Cabinet, Pence was adamant that none had occurred.

"No, never. And why would we be, Margaret?" Pence asked CBS's Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation."

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Pence's remarks follow an anonymous op-ed from a "senior [Trump] administration official," published this week in The New York Times, that detailed a "resistance" within the administration dedicated to "thwarting" the president's "worst inclinations."

The op-ed rocked Washington and spurred denials from dozens of Trump administration officials seeking to tamp down speculation that they could be the official.

The op-ed claims that Cabinet officials discussed removing Trump from the presidency early on in his administration by invoking the 25th Amendment, but decided against such a move in order to avoid a "constitutional crisis."

The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of Cabinet officials to inform Congress that the president is unfit for duty, thereby allowing the vice president to assume the presidency.

“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room,” the official wrote. “We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.”

Pence blasted the op-ed and the Times in the CBS interview, calling the anonymous author a "disgrace."

"I think the author of the anonymous editorial, and frankly The New York Times, should be ashamed," Pence told Brennan.

"[I]t seems to me to be just an obvious attempt to distract attention from this booming economy and President Trump's record of success," he added.

Trump has launched a wave of attacks against the anonymous author and the Times over the op-ed, demanding that the newspaper turn over the author's identity for national security purposes. He also suggested the Justice Department should probe the identity of the anonymous author.

The Times has so far refused Trump's demands, while CNN reports that a White House search for the author has narrowed to just a few possibilities.