Trump 'embarrassed by Mike Pence bringing pets to Washington DC and thinks Pence family are low class yokels'

'He thinks the Pences are yokels,' says Trump advisor

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 06 December 2017 17:28 GMT
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Mr Trump, whose net worth is estimated to be $3.1bn by Forbes, has broken presidential tradition by choosing not to have a pet in the White House
Mr Trump, whose net worth is estimated to be $3.1bn by Forbes, has broken presidential tradition by choosing not to have a pet in the White House

Donald Trump was reportedly “embarrassed” Vice President Mike Pence decided to bring his pets to Washington and deems the Pence family to be “yokels”.

An advisor to President Trump told The Atlantic the US president informed his secretary he thought it was “low class” for the Pences to bring their pets to the Naval Observatory – the official residence of the US Vice President.

“He was embarrassed by it, he thought it was so low class. He thinks the Pences are yokels,” the longtime advisor said.

The Pence family had two cats, a rabbit named Marlon Bundo and a snake, but after one of the cats died in June they decided to adopt a new puppy and kitten.

According to the publication, President Trump established a view of Mr Pence as “prudish, stiff, and embarrassingly poor according to one longtime associate” before choosing him as his running mate.

The billionaire property magnate, whose net worth is estimated to be $3.1bn by Forbes, has broken presidential tradition by choosing not to have a pet in the White House. The tradition of keeping pets in Washington can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson who kept a mockingbird and a couple of bear cubs during his tenure.

While Mr Pence’s wealth is far below that of President Trump he is by no means a “yokel” – a derogatory term which refers to uneducated and unsophisticated people from the countryside.

In their most recent tax return, Mr Pence and his wife Karen reported $113,026 in adjusted gross income - which almost totally came from his salary as Indiana governor - according to The Wall Street Journal. During a decade of tax returns, Mr Pence’s income did not top $200,000 annually.

The Pences’ rabbit called Marlon Bundo, known by his moniker of Botus, morphed into an Instagram star after making the move to Washington and has accompanied the vice president on some official appearances. The rabbit will be featured in a children’s book penned by Mr Pence’s wife and his daughter Charlotte.

Mr Pence, who endorsed Ted Cruz during the Indiana Republican presidential primary, has been in office for 16 years. He was first a member of Congress and then from 2013 he was Indiana’s governor.

President Trump has reportedly mocked Mr Pence, an Evangelical Christian who was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement, throughout his presidency for his far right views on abortion and LGBT rights.

Mr Trump once said that Mr Pence “wants to hang” all gay people, The New Yorker reported back in October.

Mr Pence – who was said to have been the favoured candidate of the billionaire Koch brothers - has been described as the critical link between the US president and the billionaire donors in the Republican party.

The politician, who has close links with the Republican party establishment, was deemed to be a safe pair of hands when he was appointed last year.

A former campaign aide told the publication Mr Pence’s wife, Karen, thinks President Trump is “totally vile”.

Ms Pence is said to have revealed her true feelings about Mr Trump just after the Access Hollywood tape was released. The video, released one month before election day, showed Mr Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women before an appearance on the NBC TV show.

According to The Atlantic, both Mr and Ms Pence were appalled by the video. A former campaign aide told the magazine Ms Pence, in particular, was “disgusted” by the tape.

“She finds him reprehensible - just totally vile,” the aide said.

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