October 3, 2019

Last night, Rachel Maddow pulled apart the rationale being peddled by Mike Pence's team that Pence had no idea that Trump was trying to extort Ukraine's to get dirt on Joe Biden.

"Quote, 'officials close to Pence insist that he was unaware of Trump's efforts to pressure Zelensky for damaging information about Biden. That means Vice President Pence is conceding, he is admitting to telling the president of Ukraine that their military aid was being withheld," Maddow said.

"He admitted to tying that to demands that they do some sort of investigation related to some sort of corruption. But he is trying to say that he didn't realize when he was pressing them about investigations having to do with corruption that that might have been perceived as a demand having something to do with Joe Biden. That's the limits of the vice president's defense here. Well, how credible is the vice president's defense here? Why might Mike Pence conceivably have known about this demand recently made by President Trump, that Ukraine needed to give him something he could work with against Biden for 2020?

"How could Mike Pence have possibly have known about the content of that conversation between President Trump and Zelensky and Trump pressing Zelenskiy specifically to give him something on Biden? How could Pence have known about that? Well, quote, 'perhaps most significantly, one of Pence's top advisors was on the July 25th call between President Trump and President Zelenskiy when Trump made that specific ask about Joe Biden.'

"Also quote, 'the vice president would have had access to the transcript of that call within hours of it taking place.' And now here's where we get the anonymous White House officials throwing Vice President Mike Pence under the bus. Quote, White House officials say Pence likely would have received detailed notes of the president's call with Zelensky in his daily briefing book on July 26th, just one day after the call took place.

"Those same officials also telling the Washington Post tonight that that detailed record of the president's call with Zelensky, which we have all seen now, which shows President Trump plainly pressuring Zelensky to give him dirt on Biden, that five-page document, according to White House officials, should also have been part of the briefing materials that Pence was given to take with him to Warsaw to prepare for his own meeting with the Ukrainian president. Quote, 'officials close to Pence contend that he did travel to Warsaw for a meeting with Zelensky on September 1st, but these officials close to Pence say that Pence did travel to that meeting, quote, 'probably without having read or at least fully registered the transcript of Trump's call with the leader of Ukraine."

We all recognize this, right? Mike Pence is using the Jake Elwood defense!

He didn't read the material! He read the material, but he didn't grasp it! He's too stupid! His guy was on the call, but he didn't realize what was happening! IT WASN'T HIS FAULT!!!

You went to Catholic school, Mike. Surely the nuns told you: "Lie down with dogs, rise up with fleas."

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.