Vice President Mike Pence has tweeted a
message of support to out athlete Adam Rippon.
“Headed to the Olympics to cheer on
#TeamUSA,” Pence messaged. “One reporter trying to distort 18 yr
old nonstory to sow seeds of division. We won't let that happen!
#FAKENEWS. Our athletes are the best in the world and we are for ALL
of them! #TEAMUSA.”
In a separate message, Pence added:
“.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don't let fake news
distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my
only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go
Earlier this week, USA Today
reported that Pence attempted to arrange a meeting with Rippon after
the figure skater criticized the White House's selection of Pence to
lead the 2018 U.S. Olympic delegation because of his opposition to
LGBT rights. Rippon, one of two openly gay athletes headed to the
Winter Olympics, reportedly turned down the request.
“If it were before my event, I would
absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone
out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay
person but that they think that they're sick,” Rippon, 28, said in
January, a reference to Pence's reported support for therapies that
attempt to alter the sexuality or gender identity of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people. A Pence spokesman in 2016 denied
that Pence supports so-called conversion therapy.
According to USA
Today, Pence's staff asked the U.S. Olympic Committee to set
up a conversation between Pence and Rippon just one hour after Rippon's comments were published online.
once joked that Mike Pence “wants to hang” all gay people.)