Mike Pence is rushing home, leaving his Latin American trip early as Donald Trump has set fire to his presidency by completely embracing white supremacists.
It appears that Donald Trump's presidency is in full crisis mode after he stubbornly embraced white supremacists and Nazis, and his vice president is abruptly ending his Latin American trip to rush home, presumably to try to help deal with the damage.
"We prepare to end our trip a little bit early tomorrow in Panama," Mike Pence told reporters. "I will return home tomorrow."
The latest alarm sign for Trump that his presidency is crumbling was the complete destruction of the advisory councils he had put together months ago. Multiple CEOs pulled out of the group, leading Trump to then impotently declare that he was ending them.
Pence also reiterated his support for Trump's divisive remarks on the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"I stand with the president," he said, and insisted that Trump "has been clear" on standing against racism. The claim is disconnected from reality, coming less than 24 hours after Trump delivered a full-throated defense of white supremacists, arguing that they were provoked by the "alt-left," and characterizing pro-confederacy Nazis as "fine people."
Pence was already in the midst of an erratically scheduled day in Santiago, Chile. He was originally scheduled to conduct a press conference alongside Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, then changed format so that no questions would be allowed. After reporters began inquiring about the change, Pence then decided to let himself be questioned.
Over the past few months, Pence has been visibly setting himself up as a president-in-waiting. He has assembled his own parallel political operation, including a PAC, while also barnstorming the country to meet with conservative influencers, and hosting Republican donors who could bankroll a presidential campaign.
With Trump on the ropes, Pence appears completely ready for a full takeover of the office.