A recent CNN interview between host Jake Tapper and vice president-elect Mike Pence got heated as the questions descended onto the topic of one of the most recent additions to Trump’s transition team. The hire in question was the son of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and the young man has been known to share ridiculous conspiracy theories through social media while simultaneously praising white supremacist groups and their supporters.
When Pence first appeared for the interview, he probably expected a bit of back and forth, but nothing like the confrontation that actually occurred. Of course, every member of Trump’s administration is susceptible to harsh questions from the media, and many of those questions are entirely appropriate considering the strange decisions made by Trump and those closest to him.
When it first came to light that the younger Flynn would be joining the Trump transition team, the decision raised a few eyebrows. At the time of the announcement, the response from the public caused the Trump team to downplay the importance of the newest addition to their team as merely a titular advance, but during his interview with Tapper, Mike Pence admitted that Flynn had a much greater role than was originally conveyed. Despite the fact that Trump has yet to take the White House, the younger Flynn has already been taken off the transition team for unknown reasons.
Pence started defending himself by saying that he assumed General Flynn’s son had no involvement with the organization or the transition team, but he quickly backpedaled and corrected himself. Apparently, after a conversation with General Flynn himself, Pence came to understand the younger Flynn’s role as much more vital. He was in charge of scheduling meetings and handling certain important administrative tasks. While that was the case for some time, the younger Flynn was recently removed from the team.
This response was unsatisfactory to Tapper, who continued to grill Pence about the decision to place such a strange choice on the transition team in the first place. Tapper brought up the younger Flynn’s attraction to wild conspiracy theories, including the easily-debunked ‘pizzagate’ that wrongfully accused Hillary Clinton of being connected to a vast pedophilia ring that was headquartered out of a pizza joint in the D.C. area. Tapper wondered why such an individual would even be considered for a position that included high-level security clearance.
Tapper directly asked Pence if he was aware that Trump’s transition team had asked for additional security clearance for the younger Flynn, but Pence merely deflected the question with an off-hand answer about how the younger Flynn was only helping his father with unimportant tasks. Pence then insinuated that Tapper should move on from the line of questioning.
Unfazed by Pence’s clear dodging of the question, Tapper interjected and demanded that Pence answer the question regarding the younger Flynn’s security clearance and the Trump transition team’s request for additional security clearance for him. Tapper went on to vilify the young man, and rightfully so, for his penchant for spreading falsities through social media and giving white supremacists a platform from which to spread their messages of hate. He then asked Pence directly once again if he knew about the security clearance for the younger Flynn.
Once again, Pence did nothing to answer the question. He pivoted around the issue, attempting to be evasive so Tapper would have no choice but to move on, but Tapper would not relent. He then proceeded to question Pence’s evasiveness itself, questioning why someone in such a position of power would blatantly ignore such issues right before his eyes. Pence, in his classic fashion, refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part.