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Pence denies discussing invoking 25th Amendment to oust Trump

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-09 13:26
In this file photo taken on June 20, 2018 US Vice-President Mike Pence speaks as US President Donald Trump looks on before signing an executive order on immigration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. [Photo/VCG]

WASHINGTON - US Vice-President Mike Pence denied involvement in discussions to invoke the 25th Amendment to oust President Donald Trump, according to his interview with CBS News to be aired in full Sunday.

"No, never. And why would we be, Margaret?" Pence told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan, when asked whether any such discussions had taken place between members of Trump's cabinet.

Pence's remarks were responding to claims made in an anonymous op-ed published by The New York Times this week.

The piece's author, identified as a "senior administration official," said he is part of a resistance within the administration dedicated to "thwarting" parts of Trump' agenda and the president's "worst inclinations."

The op-ed has put into Washington a wild guessing game as to the identity of the author as dozens of Trump administration officials lined up offering their denials.

The explosive article also claimed that there were early whispers within the Trump cabinet "to invoke the 25th Amendment," prompted by the president's apparent "instability."

The 25th Amendment empowers the vice president and a majority of cabinet officials to inform Congress that the president is unfit for duty, thereby allowing the vice president to assume the presidency.

"It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room," the anonymous official wrote in the op-ed. "We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what's right even when Donald Trump won't."

In the CBS interview, Pence blasted the op-ed and the Times, saying that "the author of the anonymous editorial, and frankly The New York Times, should be ashamed."

Trump has launched a round of attacks against the anonymous author and The Times over the op-ed, demanding that the newspaper turn over the author's identity for national security purposes.

The president also tweeted Friday that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions "should be investigating who the author of that piece was" because he believes that "it's national security."

The Times has so far refused Trump's demands.

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