Trump reportedly thought Mike Pence was 'embarrassingly poor'

President Trump and Mike Pence.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

President Trump has had reservations about Vice President Mike Pence's finances since even before the former Indiana governor was picked as his running mate, The Atlantic reports. Trump reportedly sized up Pence for the first time over a golf game last year. But as The Atlantic notes, "coming into the game, Trump had formed an opinion of the Indiana governor as prudish, stiff, and embarrassingly poor, according to one longtime associate."

Pence, though, played his cards right, raving about Trump's golf game and his "broad shoulders." And while Trump hesitated about the choice, weighing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) as his running mate instead, Pence got the boost he needed when campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly lied and said Trump's plane was broken down while the candidate was visiting Indiana. "With nowhere else to go, Trump accepted an invitation to dine with the Pences," The Atlantic writes. Three days after that, he announced Pence as his running mate.

But by some reports, Pence's wealth — or lack thereof — continues to bother Trump:

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When it was reported last January that the Pences would be moving some of their family pets — which include two cats, a rabbit, and a snake — into the Naval Observatory, Trump ridiculed the menagerie to his secretary, according to a longtime adviser. "He was embarrassed by it; he thought it was so low class," says the adviser. "He thinks the Pences are yokels." [The Atlantic]

In 10 years of tax returns, Pence's income "hasn't topped $200,000 a year," The Wall Street Journal wrote in 2016. "On their most recent return, Mr. Pence and his wife, Karen, reported $113,026 in adjusted gross income, almost all from Mr. Pence's salary as governor of Indiana." Read more about Pence's relationship with President Trump at The Atlantic.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.