In an exclusive interview on “The Ingraham Angle” Tuesday, Pence took issue with the ongoing impeachment inquiry, as well as former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“We went through two and a half years of the Mueller investigation with outlandish accusations of collusion and obstruction until the Justice Department found no collusion, no obstruction, case closed,” Pence claimed.
“They took a brief break and were talking about impeaching Justice Kavanaugh after trying to smear his name and reputation a year ago. And then, in the wake of all of this, suddenly we’re back to closed-door hearings on Capitol Hill, leaks — leaked information.”
Host Laura Ingraham interjected, asking the vice president what he will do to support the president “in this effort”.
Pence replied: “Well, we’re just going to — we’re going to be out there telling the truth about this president’s record, and we’re going to be telling the truth about this partisan impeachment.
“There’s no historical basis for what the Democrats in Congress are doing.”
The comments came the same day that acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified unequivocally that Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate both election interference and a company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son — and was willing to hold up military aid and a White House meeting to get a public announcement from the country that the probes were underway.
In his opening remarks to House lawmakers obtained by Fox News, Taylor voiced his apparent frustration that the Trump administration was undercutting his personal policy preference for providing robust aid to Ukraine.
Among Taylor’s colorful claims were that then-national security adviser John Bolton furiously warned that a Trump phone call with Ukraine’s leader would be a “disaster,” and that Taylor nearly didn’t take the job leading Ukraine’s embassy out of concerns the U.S. wouldn’t be sufficiently helpful to Ukraine.
Republicans, however, have countered that military aid to Ukraine was released in September, and that there has been no evidence Ukrainians were aware that the aid was being withheld as part of any implicit quid pro quo. Ukrainian officials have denied that there was any undue pressure from the White House.
But, Taylor went on to describe the existence of an “irregular” communications channel with Ukraine led by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and a “weird combination of encouraging, confusing, and ultimately alarming circumstances” once he arrived in Kiev. The statement confirmed previous reporting of Taylor’s remarks by Fox News.
Taylor had served as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, but because he was not yet reconfirmed by the Senate, his official title was to be Chargé d ‘Affaires ad interim.
A former Army officer, Taylor had been serving as executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace — which has described itself as a nonpartisan think tank founded by Congress — when he was appointed to run the embassy.
The White House, meanwhile, fired back Tuesday over Taylor’s testimony: “President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution. There was no quid pro quo,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
Only Taylor’s opening statement has been released at this point. However, lawmakers emerging after hours of the private deposition said Taylor relayed a “disturbing” account, including establishing a “direct line” to the quid pro quo at the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.