Vice president-elect Mike Pence appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning, where one of the main topics was Donald Trump’s planned relationship with Russia. Host John Dickerson asked Pence about the Ochre Emperor’s plans for U.S.-Russian relations, and Pence repeated the standard Trump line that our two countries need to get along better.
Pence’s statement was a little different from what Congress heard this past week during confirmation hearings for General James Mattis and Rex Tillerson. Both of those men cautioned about Vladimir Putin. Tillerson called Russia “an adversary,” saying America needs to confront Putin as well as negotiate with him. Mattis warned that Putin is trying to break up the NATO alliance.
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What Mattis and Tillerson had to say surprised some who wondered whether their comments were a signal that Trump’s stated goal of a closer relationship with Russia was about to change. Pence quickly put an end to any speculation along those lines.
Dickerson wanted to know who foreign leaders and countries should be listening to — his advisors who are hinting at some disagreements with their fearless leader, or Trump. Dickerson asked, “Who’s driving the bus?”
Pence made it quite clear that the public shouldn’t pay any attention to what people like Tillerson have to say on the subject.
Well, the great thing about being around Donald Trump is you never have any confusion about who’s driving the bus. And where the buck stops, and who will make the final decision.
There it is. If anybody’s mind was eased by Mattis’ and Tillerson’s remarks on Russia, it’s time to start worrying again. Trump is driving the bus.
Here is Pence’s comment, via Face the Nation: