The White House on Tuesday denied an
anecdote found in a The New Yorker article about President
Donald Trump joking that Vice President Mike Pence “wants to hang”
all gay people.
Danger of President Pence, Jane Mayer traces Pence's career
in politics, starting as a U.S. House member, and his ties to the
social conservative movement and the corporate right.
Mayer recounts a meeting Trump and
Pence had with a legal scholar at which Trump mocked Pence's socially
When the legal scholar pointed out that
even without Roe v. Wade many states would legalize abortion
on their own, Trump said to Pence, “You see? You've wasted all
this time and energy on it, and it's not going to end abortion
When the subject of gay rights turned
up, Trump, motioning to Pence, joke, “Don't ask that guy – he
wants to hang them all!”
In a statement given to POLITICO, White
House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the article a work of
“From start to finish the article
relied on fiction rather than facts,” Sanders said. “The
president has the highest level of respect for the Vice President,
and for his deeply held faith. The suggestion that he would make such
outrageous remarks is offensive and untrue. The anecdote was meant to
divide, not unite and is completely false.”
Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah also
denied the story.
“The New Yorker piece is
filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and
offensive,” Farah said. “Articles like this are why the American
people have lost so much faith in the press.”
The New Yorker said in a
statement given to POLITICO that it stands by its reporting.
“Trump joked that Vice-President
Pence 'wants to hang' gay people. We stand by the story,” the
Pence has a long record of opposing
LGBT rights in the U.S. House and as governor of Indiana.
He made national headlines in 2015 when
he signed a bill into law that opponents said would allow business
owners to refuse to serve members of the LGBT community based on
their religious beliefs. Then-Governor Pence at first defended his
decision to sign the bill, but a growing backlash pushed him to call
for a “fix” to the law.