John Dickerson hosted Vice President-elect Mike Pence on his program Sunday, leading off the questioning with the supposed hacking of the Democrats by Russia. He asks, “The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has decided to investigate Russian meddling in the election. That includes any possible contacts between the Russians trying to meddle and the Trump campaign. What’s your reaction to that?”
Pence says, “Well, I think the President-elect and I both welcome the Congress doing its oversight work in this and any other area. We look forward to the results of their inquiry. But make no mistake about it, I think they’ll find what the publically released report showed before is that there is no evidence of any impact on voting machines. Donald Trump won this election fair and square, thirty out of fifty states, more counties than any other Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan.”
Pence continues, “So while we certainly respect the right of the Congress to provide oversight, to make inquiries where they deem them appropriate, the American people spoke in this election and the peaceful transition of power that will take place this coming Friday, on a platform where our President-elect will take the oath of office, surrounded by four of the five living presidents is a testament to our democracy and I’m incredibly humbled to be a part of it, John.”
Dickerson asks if it’s fair to say that Mr. Trump no longer views the investigation as a witch hunt. It’s not fair to say actually, as Mr. Pence makes clear, struggling for the right words. He replied, “I think that there frankly has just been an effort by many in the national media, present company excepted, since this election to essentially demean and question the legitimacy of this incoming administration. And talk of that, sources within the intelligence community that have been attributed with sharing that information, public officials, I think is a real disservice to our democracy. As I said, Donald Trump won a landslide election. The American people spoke decisively they wanted change and I promise, I promise them, come noon this Friday change really begins and we’re going to make America great again.”
Dickerson clarifies a related issue, asking, “Just to button up one question, did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?” Pence replies immediately, “Well of course not and I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy. The fact that a few news organizations, not this one, actually trafficked in a memo that was produced as opposition research and associated that with intelligence efforts, I think could only be attributed to media bias.”
“And as I said this week at the press conference, John, the American people are tired of it.” Pence said, “We’re coming into this week with a great sense of optimism and the American people know that we can have government in Washington DC as good as our people. We can get this economy moving again, we can rebuild our military, we can be standing tall in the world again.”
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