- During a previous interview, Anthony Scaramucci suggested there was an ulterior motive behind Vice President Mike Pence's recent hires
- Nick Ayers, a political campaign strategist with little to no federal government experience, was hired as Pence's chief of staff last month
- Pence railed against reporting that he was preparing for a 2020 presidential run, calling it "disgraceful and offensive"
A portion of Anthony Scaramucci's profanity-laced conversation with a reporter from The New Yorker two weeks ago was left out of the magazine's initial bombshell report, which helped lead to Scaramucci's removal as White House communications director.
According to The New Yorker's Washington correspondent, Ryan Lizza, Scaramucci appeared to drop hints about why Nick Ayers, a former campaign veteran with no federal government experience, was recently appointed as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.
"Why do you think Nick's there, bro?" Scaramucci said. "Are you stupid?"
"Why is Nick there?" Scaramucci asked. "Nick's there to protect the vice president because the vice president can't believe what the f--- is going on."
The unearthed portion of the conversation — Lizza said he originally omitted it because he thought Scaramucci's comments about colleagues like the White House chief of staff were more newsworthy at the time — shines a new light into the dynamics between Pence and President Donald Trump following the New York Times report last weekend that Pence's surrogates may be orchestrating a shadow campaign for a potential 2020 presidential run.
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The Times' Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns spoke with more than 75 Republican elected officials, donors, and strategists who claimed there was "widespread uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump would be on the ballot in 2020, and little doubt that others in the party are engaged in barely veiled contingency planning."
The Times said that Ayers had expressed to several major Republican donors that Pence "wants to be ready" and that multiple Pence advisers had "already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not."
Pence strongly rebuked The Times' reporting, calling it "disgraceful and offensive" to himself, his family, and his team.
"The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration," he said.
"Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president's agenda and see him reelected in 2020," Pence continued. "Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd."
Political operatives, however, said they weren't at all surprised by the potential of a Pence 2020 run.
"While some of what Vice President Pence is doing differs from what his predecessors did, I don't find it particularly extraordinary," Ron Klain, who served as Vice President Al Gore's chief of staff, told The New Yorker. "Overall, I would say that whenever Mike Pence runs for office in the future, the liability he will carry from this period is not how he distanced himself from Trump but, rather, how he deepened his ties to the president."
"In 2020, at the end of a failed, one-term Trump presidency, no amount of PAC money or donor meetings will insulate Vice President Pence from the political fallout from being Donald Trump's transition chief, Capitol Hill liaison, right-hand man, and principal surrogate," Klain said.
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