Trump is waging an increasingly dangerous war on the free press, and Mike Pence is a fan.
Trump's non-stop attacks on the free press have become increasingly hostile and dangerous, but to Mike Pence, it just shows what a "fighter" Trump is.
Pence made his comments in an interview with the conservative religious network CBN, owned by Pat Robertson.
Reporter David Brody asked Pence if he thinks the "mainstream media" is "the best thing that Donald Trump has going for him because they work as a foil for him."
"Well, all I know is for a lot of the liberals in the national media, they met their match in President Donald Trump," Pence said.
He added that "the American people elected this man because he had a right vision for this country but also because he's a fighter." He did not mention that Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.
Pence added that Trump fights for jobs and military strength, as if calling the press "fake news" and the "enemy of the people," as Trump so often does, is somehow in the same category.
Noting Trump's ability to "to be able to take on his critics, one after another," Pence concluded, " President Trump is going to keep on fighting and we're going to keep on winning for the American people."
It isn't "winning" for Trump to attack the free press the way he does, no matter Pence's attempt to rationalize it on Trump's behalf.
When Trump falsely says the press is "the enemy of the people," it sends a message to his true believers.
One of those supporters, Robert D. Chain, was recently arrested for threatening to kill reporters at the Boston Globe for what he called their "treasonous" coverage of Trump. The criminal complaint quotes Chain echoing Trump in the harassing phone calls that were recorded: "You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every fucking one of you."
Trump's regular assaults on the free press have nothing to do with job creation or strengthening the military, and everything to do with undermining the First Amendment.
But instead of standing up for the First Amendment, Pence dismissed Trump's dangerous rhetoric as merely standing up to "the liberals in the national media."
For all his attempts to portray himself as the calmer voice of reason in the Trump administration, Pence once again proved himself complicit in Trump's ugliness.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.