Vice President Mike Pence on Monday addressed reports that President Trump called African nations "shithole countries," more than a week after the comments were first reported by The Washington Post.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Pence defended the president from accusations of racism, telling AP that Trump does not support immigration policies that are based on race or nationality. "I know the president's heart," Pence said. Instead, what the president does support is a "merit-based" immigration policy "that puts the interests of America first," Pence said.
Pence similarly invoked the president's "heart" when defending Trump after he said in August that there were "very fine people on both sides" of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. AP noted that Pence "did not directly answer a question about whether Trump's language was appropriate" in the Monday interview.
AP also asked Pence about Trump's alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, which Daniels detailed in a tell-all interview with InTouch Weekly. The vice president called the story a "baseless [allegation] against the president."