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Pence Spokesman Stokes Speculation By Refusing To Say Whether Pence Ever Met With Russian Operatives

For weeks now, many have speculated that Vice President Pence was trying to create some distance between himself and President Trump amid all the 'Russian collusion' news flow.  First there were the stories about Pence spending considerable time cultivating big-money Republican donors at small, private events, including hedge fund managers and executives from brokerage houses, chemical giants and defense contractors.  As the New York Times noted, the meetings "have fueled speculation among Republican insiders that he is laying the foundation for his own political future, independent from Mr. Trump."

And then came Pence's official statement on the latest Trump Jr. scandal which raised even more eyebrows.

"The Vice President is working every day to advance the President's agenda.  He was not aware of the meeting.  He is also not focused on stories about the campaign - especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign."

Vice President Pence's Press Secretary Marc Lotter releases statement on Donald Trump Jr. meeting: "He was not aware of the meeting." pic.twitter.com/Mrl2Jqjl6d

— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics)

 

And now we have this most recent Fox News interview in which Pence's press secretary Marc Lotter refused to confirm or deny whether Pence ever met with any Russian government officials during the campaign.  Asked repeatedly by Bill Hemmer whether any such meetings ever occurred, Lotter offered the following stonewalling response:

"The vice president is not focused on the areas in this campaign, especially things that happened before he was even on the ticket."

 

"As he has said, when he joined the campaign his entire focus was on talking to the American people, taking the case that President Trump was going to make to the American people and doing everything he could to make sure that he and President Trump were elected and sent to Washington."

Pressed further on the issue by Hemmer, Lotter simply said he was "not aware of anything that I've seen."

 

So, what say you?  Has the Trump administration launched a new stonewalling effort against the media's Trump-Russia crusade or is everyone simply laying low because they know there are more "

," as John McCain likes to say.