Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence denies he's dropping out: 'It's the greatest honour of my life'

The Republican party appeared to defect from Mr Trump following the revelation of his sexual assault remarks last week – but once 'offended' Mr Pence says he is 'honoured' to be the VP candidate

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Indiana Gov Mike Pence put to rest fears of Republicans and rejected speculation that he would drop off the ticket amid the Trump campaign’s tumultuous weekend, calling his candidacy the "greatest honour" of his life.

During the second televised debate with Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Donald Trump sparked concern when he openly disagreed with his running mate about Russia’s involvement with the Assad regime in Syria. 

“He and I haven’t spoken,” Mr Trump told Martha Raddatz as he disagreed with Mr Pence’s approach to dealing with Russia. The candidate’s remark only worsened speculation that Mr Pence had left the ticket. 

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After condemning the New York businessman’s 2005 remarks about sexually assaulting women, Mr Pence cancelled campaign appearances in Wisconsin and New Jersey. 

But Mr Pence denied ever having considered leaving the ticket and, in fact, solidified his continued support for his controversial running mate. 

“You know I'll always keep my conversations with Donald Trump and my family private,” Mr Pence told CNN. “But it's absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket.” 

Mr Pence had been noticeably quiet since releasing his statement in the wake of the Trump Tapes, but he appeared to be back in Mr Trump’s corner deflecting criticism of sexual predation to President Bill Clinton. 

“[Trump] said last night very clearly that that was talk, not actions,” he said. “And I believe him and I think the contrast between that and what the Clintons were involved in 20 years ago – the four women that were present last night – was pretty dramatic.” 

On Saturday, however, Mr Pence said that he would not defend Mr Trump’s 2005 words. 

“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump,” he said. “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.”

Amid the furore that ensued over the weekend, many Republican leaders called for Mr Trump to drop out of the race. New Hampshire Sen Kelly Ayotte, who was a top Trump supporter, said she would write-in Mr Pence as her choice for president on Election Day.