Pence blasts NYT report about 2020 ambitions

Calling it "disgraceful and offensive," Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday denounced a New York Times report that he is quietly building his own shadow campaign for 2020.

"Today’s article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team," Pence said in a statement Sunday. "The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration."

The Times article, headlined "Republican shadow campaign for 2020 takes shape as Trump doubts grow," was written by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns. The article said Pence has worked to build an independent power base — mentioning Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) as adopting similar tactics in light of the current administration’s struggles.

"Mr. Pence has been the pacesetter," Martin and Burns wrote. "Though it is customary for vice presidents to keep a full political calendar, he has gone a step further, creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent and promoting himself as the main conduit between the Republican donor class and the administration."

Pence’s statement expressed support and confidence in President Donald Trump.

"The American people know that I could not be more honored to be working side by side with a president who is making America great again," the statement said. "Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd."

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on ABC’s "This Week" that there was "zero concern" about Pence setting up a shadow campaign.

"That is complete fiction," she said.

Zachary Warmbrodt contributed to this article.

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