A Trump campaign spokesman, brushing aside reports of friction between the Republican nominee and his running mate, said that Donald Trump and Mike Pence talk “every single day” and are the “most united ticket in history.”
The assertions by Trump spokesman Jason Miller came in the post-debate spin room in response to questions about Trump’s response during the debate when he said that he disagrees with comments Pence made about Syria and that they haven’t spoken about the issue.
“Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question: If you were president, what would you do about the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo?” asked moderator Martha Raddatz. “I want to remind you what your running mate said,” she continued, referencing Pence’s comments about Syria in the vice presidential debate one week earlier.
“He said, ‘Provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength,’” Raddatz reminded Trump. “And that if Russia continues to be involved in airstrikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.”
Trump, who has appeared to be displeased with Pence for not defending him following the release of a damaging videotape on Friday, waved away his running mate’s comments.
“He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree,” said Trump. “I disagree.”
Trump’s comment prompted Raddatz to shoot back: “You disagree with your running mate?” Trump ignored that question.
Miller said that Pence was referring to enforcing “safe zones” in Syria — presumably to allow humanitarian assistance — but did not elaborate.
But Trump’s open disagreement with his own running mate on a central foreign policy issue was immediately seized on by Clinton campaign surrogates, and it prompted speculation of a new rift between Trump and Pence. “It’s shocking,” Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said about Trump’s admission that he and Pence had not discussed what to do about Syria.
But Sean Spicer, chief Republican Party spokesman, said that Pence — who was not present for the debate and canceled an appearance in Wisconsin on Saturday — had spoken to GOP Chairman Reince Priebus after the debate, adding that he understood that Pence had praised Trump’s debate performance.