Last Updated on January 7, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence was working with former RNC Chair Reince Priebus and Republican Party leadership to oust President Donald Trump from his position as the party’s presidential nominee in October of 2016, following the potentially politically damaging release of audio of the President, now referred to as the Billy Bush Tape, according to a senior Trump campaign official who later served in the Trump administration in audio dated to 2018.
In the audio, obtained by National File but recorded at a time when most Republicans had no reason to be upset with Pence, the Trump campaign official explains that Pence was approached by Priebus and the Republican Party establishment, in the form of GOP Chairs from a critical mass of states, and agreed to take President Trump’s position at the top of the ticket.
“They had contacted enough state chairmen, they were going to do something under the rules to change candidates,” said the Trump campaign official. “They were pressuring Pence to say, ‘Okay I’m good with it.'”
“Pence’s wife is begging, is telling him to do it,” the official explained. “Pence assured Reince that he’s okay with it, he’s on board. That’s on a Friday.”
When the person conducting the interview expressed doubt that Pence would have been willing to commandeer the Republican Party ticket with only weeks to go before the critical 2016 election, the source explained that Pence was willing to do whatever was asked by the Republican Party and Priebus.
“Pence said, ‘I’m good with it. If this is what the party wants, if they want to change candidates three weeks before the election, if this is the only shot we have to win.'”
The official then explained that this was in October, and related to the infamous Billy Bush Tape. He also confirms the rumor that Priebus, while sitting at a table with President Trump, Steve Bannon, and other top 2016 campaign officials, pressured Trump to resign. After that, he explains, Priebus began working with Pence to oust President Trump.
“They were openly discussing this on Pence’s plane,” said the campaign official. “They had some staffers that came from the Trump campaign that actually took notes and funneled it back to Trump Tower.”
“So over the weekend, Trump calls Pence in, basically calls him a liar, a hypocrite, and just rips him a new one, gives him all the information where he knows that Pence has been working behind his back. And says, ‘If you want to do this, then I’m going to call you out as being a liar.'”
Our source explains that President Trump’s threat to expose Pence’s willingness to betray both President Trump and millions of Republican voters was enough to force Pence into submission.
“Pence walks it back, goes back Monday morning, and tells Reince and his wife to stand down,” said the official. “His wife threw a big fit.”
“That afternoon, everybody who worked for the Trump campaign [and] was on that plane, they get pulled off. And the only people that were allowed to travel with Pence were his own team. ”
The source also explained that the reason Pence refused to endorse President Trump in 2016 is because he was offered a $3 million campaign contribution from Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, in exchange for his endorsement.