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Ex-Pence adviser hammers his old boss as ‘unworthy of the presidency’ and endorses Trump

Retired Gen Keith Kellogg says Pence displayed a ‘laissez-faire style’

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 08 August 2023 15:45 BST
Pence reacts to Trump arraignment

Mike Pence’s former national security adviser slammed the ex-vice president as “unworthy of the presidency” as he endorsed former president Donald Trump.

Retired Gen Keith Kellogg put out a statement on Truth Social, Mr Trump’s social networking platform, expressing his dissatisfaction with Mr Pence’s actions towards the former president.

“While I respect his service to our Nation, I must express my disappointment in his recent actions regarding President Trump,” he said in his statement. “Where President Trump is bold and unafraid to challenge the status quo, Pence has often chosen the passive route, avoiding confrontation.”

Specifically, Gen Kellogg faulted Mr Pence’s adviser and former chief of staff Marc Short and said Mr Pence displayed a “laissez-faire style unworthy of the presidency.”

Mr Pence is currently running against Mr Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination for president. Throughout his campaign, he has criticised Mr Trump’s overtures to have Mr Pence try to overturn the presidential election results on January 6.

After the most recent indictment, Mr Pence lambasted Mr Trump’s “crackpot lawyers.” But Gen Kellogg said Mr Pence acted in an opportunistic way.

“While President Trump has consistently put America first, prioritizing its citizens, our economy, and global standing, Pence’s actions have often seemed more focused on political maneuvering and maintaining his image,” he said. “That is not what Republican voters want.”

In turn, Gen Kellogg said he would support Mr Trump instead of Mr Pence.

“I believe in the future President Trump envisions,” he said. “A future that demands bold and decisive leadership, something we have seen from President Trump but not the former vice president.”

Mr Pence significantly trails not just his former president, but other Republicans such as Florida Gov Ron DeSantis in polls. But on Monday, his campaign reported that he had qualified for the first Republican primary debate on 23 August, Fox News reported.

The Republican National Committee requires that candidates have donors from at least 20 states. He has already passed the polling threshold.

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