The Corner

White House

The Tuesday-Afternoon Rumors about Pence and Putin

Vice President Mike Pence walks outside in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2019. (Michael Dalder/Reuters)

This morning, Randy Gentry, a representative from Vice President Pence’s office, came to a podium in New Hampshire to alert the audience that the day’s event about opioids was canceled: “Air Force 2 was headed this way, but there’s been an emergency and the president was asked to return to Washington.”

But that statement was contradicted by Vice President Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah, who said “There was no ‘emergency callback.’ Something came up that required the VP to stay in D.C.” and that Pence never actually left Washington. An unnamed administration official is telling reporters that the sudden change to Pence’s schedule is “nothing related to national security.” That unnamed official also ruled out any health issues with the president or vice president.

That didn’t stop quite a few people on Twitter from speculating that the sudden change to Pence’s schedule was related somehow to this news:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an inquiry into an accident with a submarine, he told a meeting with his defense minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday.

Fourteen Russian sailors on board a deep water research sub were killed in a fire while carrying out a survey of the sea floor, the Russian defense ministry was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies earlier on Tuesday.

The good news for anyone unnerved by these bits of news is that if it really was the worst-case scenario, Pence and Putin would be doing more than going to meetings.

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