Watchdog pressure escalates Pence's $242k taxpayer-funded NFL stunt into full-blown scandal


Mike Pence charged taxpayers for a ridiculous stunt at an NFL game that the Trump re-election campaign is now using to raise money — and many are asking questions about it, including a government watchdog group.

Americans are angry about Mike Pence's decision to use hundreds of thousands of dollars for a carefully orchestrated political stunt at an NFL game, and a government watchdog group is now seeking answers.

Pence flew on a government plane to Lucas Oil stadium in Indiana where he appeared for a only few minutes at a Colts game, only to leave quickly in protest of players who have been protesting police brutality. Subsequent disclosures revealed that Pence never intended to stay for the entire game, and soon after, he flew to a fundraiser in Los Angeles.

The Trump re-election campaign is now using the stunt to raise money, telling supporters, "your Vice President REFUSED to dignify" the players as they protested.

The media has estimated that the cost of Pence's travel, not including security costs, is $242,500. The Trump administration has been under fire for the use of tax dollars in providing unnecessary travel arrangements for senior officials. The scandal has already pushed Tom Price to resign from his position as Health and Human Services secretary.

If Pence's trip was a campaign stunt, it raises serious questions about taxpayers are footing the bill.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the White House. CREW is requesting "copies of records of or reflecting the use of government funds to provide security and any other services" for Pence's flight to the game and fundraiser.

CREW is also requesting records about when the Secret Service was notified of Pence's travel plans.

"The requested records will round out this picture and shed further light on the nature and purpose of the Vice President’s travel," CREW noted in a statement.

Ignoring other important issues facing the country, Trump has insisted that the NFL punish black players for respectfully taking a knee while they try to raise awareness of police brutality. Trump personally took the time to call an NFL owner four times in one day to browbeat him into threatening his own players on the issue.

Pence's expensive display of phony outrage shows that the vice president is now parroting the Trump team's desperate distraction ploy. And he is doing it on the taxpayers' dime.