Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally, Oct. 22, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Pence offers a curious defense of Trump’s Stormy Daniels scandal

Updated

In his capacity as vice president, Mike Pence has repeatedly stuck his neck out, putting his reputation on the line while pushing White House talking points, only to run into trouble when Trump World’s claims turned out to be wrong.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 1/17/18, 9:44 PM ET

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In each instance, Pence said he hadn’t been caught lying; he’d simply passed along information he thought was true at the time.

With this in mind, it amazes me that the vice president hasn’t learned anything from his mistakes. The Associated Press reported:

The vice president also dismissed an adult film star’s account of a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, questioning its validity.

“I’m just not going to comment on the latest baseless allegations against the president,” Pence said.

OK, but how does Pence know the allegations are baseless?

That’s not necessarily a rhetorical question. It’d be worth knowing, for example, if the vice president actually had a conversation with Trump about the allegations that he had an affair with a porn star. I imagine that would’ve been a rather awkward conversation, if it happened.

It seems just as likely, if not more so, that Pence is just making an assumption about the controversy and he’s comfortable telling reporters the allegations are “baseless” because that’s what the vice president chooses to believe.

And just like every other time Pence has been caught peddling falsehoods to the public, these assumptions are probably unwise. There’s already evidence to suggest Trump’s lawyer quietly created an LLC in Delaware in order to pay the porn star $130,000 – shortly before the 2016 election – in order to buy her silence about the alleged affair.

The questions surrounding this money have not yet been answered, and may carry real legal significance.

What’s more Daniels did an interview with In Touch magazine, conducted several years ago before she received the alleged hush-money, in which she described a relationship with Trump. A Washington Post  report added over the weekend that Daniels pointed to specific details that lend credence to her claims.

If Pence had said the allegations are irrelevant, fine. If he’d said the alleged affair is a private matter between the president and his family, that’s fine, too.

But the vice president said the claims are “baseless,” which leads to a straightforward follow-up question for Pence: “Just how sure are you about that?”

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Scandals

Pence offers a curious defense of Trump's Stormy Daniels scandal

Updated