Fox News' Pete Hegseth had an off-the-record conversation with Mike Pence and then blabbed about it on the air

Mike Pence and Pete Hegseth.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter/Vice President Mike Pence)

Fox News' Pete Hegseth doesn't quite seem to understand the meaning of "off the record." But Vice President Mike Pence, with whom Hegseth had a self-described "off-the-record conversation," doesn't seem to mind.

Hegseth appeared on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning to report on the return of U.S. remains from the Korean War. President Trump brokered the arrangement during his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Pence flew to Pearl Harbor for the ceremonial American arrival.

On the plane ride to Hawaii, Hegseth apparently had an insider conversation with Pence. And when Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked if the remains' return signals a "thawing between nations," Hegseth promptly told viewers all about it.

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"I had a chance to speak off the record with the vice president on the flight over. He emphasized just that," Hegseth, before going on to quote Pence. "He said, 'Don't underestimate what a powerful statement this is by Chairman Kim and the North Koreans. We didn't give up anything other than the willingness to meet.'" Hegseth continued to relay Pence's words as photos of himself and the vice president appeared on screen.

"Off the record" typically means someone's comments can't be made public or attributed to them. But if this conversation was supposed to be kept private, Pence obviously didn't mind, seeing as he tweeted out the whole segment.

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It's still better than Hegseth's last Fox & Friends flub: that time he hit someone with an axe.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.