As Donald Trump faces an increasingly uncertain future, there's no shortage of scuttlebutt about what it'd be like if Mike Pence were elevated to the presidency. The chatter grew a little louder when Pence launched his own political action committee yesterday -- an apparent first for a sitting vice president.But before the far-right Hoosier starts measuring any drapes, now seems like a good time to note some of the troubles plaguing Pence in the broader Russia mess.We talked earlier about a striking New York Times scoop on Michael Flynn, the former White House National Security Advisor, who's at the center of much of the controversy. And while the article only mentioned Pence in passing, note who it was that Flynn spoke to when he admitted to Team Trump that he was under investigation.
Michael T. Flynn told President Trump's transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.
Who led Trump's transition team? That would be none other than Mike Pence.We're left with an unsettling picture. Flynn told the transition team he's the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and either that information either reached Pence or it didn't. If Pence was out of the loop, he was dangerously incompetent at his job. If Pence knew, and Flynn became National Security Advisor anyway, that's worse.Remember, as the turmoil surrounding Flynn grew more serious, the vice president said he was completely unaware of Flynn's alleged misdeeds. In March, when Fox News asked Pence about Flynn having to register as a foreign agent, Pence said he was hearing the story for the first time.Except, as Rachel has explained on the show, that's literally unbelievable. Not only were there multiple news reports for months about Flynn's foreign work, but Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Pence's transition team to make sure Team Trump was aware of this.Pence didn't respond. Flynn got the job he wanted anyway.An unsettling picture is emerging. Pence not only seems to have been, at best, negligent when overseeing the presidential transition process, he also has been caught repeatedly saying things that aren't true while in service to Trump.When it comes to the White House's Russia scandal, the political world doesn't tend to think of Pence as someone caught up in the mess. Perhaps it's time to rethink those assumptions.