VP Pence and his wife outraged after reporter leaks off-the-record memo revealing they lied to the public
Vice President Mike Pence showed up to the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday not wearing a face mask even though it was the organization's policy that everyone in attendance do so. After the incident caught major media attention, Pence's wife took to the airwaves to defend him, claiming he just simply didn't know.
"It was actually after he left Mayo Clinic that he found out that they had a policy of asking everyone to wear a mask," Karen Pence said Wednesday morning on Fox News.
Even though Pence was ridiculed for the event, that was pretty much all there was to the story. But, it's not.
Steve Herman, who covers the White House for Voice of America, spilled the beans about a memo that Vice President Pence's office sent to reporters BEFORE their trip to the Mayo Clinic.
“All of us who traveled with [Pence] were notified by the office of VP the day before the trip that wearing of masks was required by the Mayo Clinic and to prepare accordingly."
The tweet enraged Pence's staff who claimed he violated the off-the-record terms of a planning memo that had been sent to him and other reporters before the Vice President's trip. It's important to note that they're not claiming Herman is a liar. No, not at all. They're claiming he shouldn't have spilled the beans to the world on this which is only embarrassing Vice President Pence and his wife for denying they knew of the face mask policy.
A copy of the document obtained by the Washington Post verified Herman's story, which read:
“Please note, the Mayo Clinic is requiring all individuals traveling with the VP wear masks. Please bring one to wear while on the trip.”
What's making this even more of a story is that Pence's office is threatening to retaliate against the White House reporter. According to the Post they are banning him from further travel on Air Force Two, and the only way he might be able to get that back is to apologize.
Herman later responded to criticisms that him revealing the off-the-record could have interfered with operational security. The short answer: he didn't. He talked about the trip two days after it had already ended. The Vice President and his staff just don't know how to contain this monumental lie to the American public.
“My tweet speaks for itself. We always have and will strictly adhere to keeping off the record any White House communications to reporters for planning purposes involving logistics that have security implications prior to events. . . . All White House pool reporters, including myself and my VOA colleagues, take this very seriously.”