Speed Reads

political drama

Trump's Access Hollywood tape reportedly triggered talks of swapping him with Mike Pence on the ticket

President Trump was apparently only concerned about losing one supporter after his Access Hollywood tape leaked.

Sure, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan said he couldn't "defend" then-candidate Trump after the horrendous audio was published, and a slew of other GOP lawmakers withdrew their support. But Vice President Mike Pence, then just Trump's running mate, worried Trump by "cutting himself off from the outside world" for days — and spent that time seriously considering dropping his name from the ticket altogether, Politico's Tim Alberta reports for his forthcoming book American Carnage.

A recording of Trump making lewd comments about women aired just a month before Election Day 2016 and just two days before the second presidential debate, sending Trump's team into a frenzy to clean up the mess. Ryan promptly disinvited Trump from a Wisconsin political rally, and, as Alberta reports, asked then-RNC Chair Reince Priebus "how can you get him out of the race?" Priebus knew that wasn't possible, but he still reportedly met with Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss swapping Trump and Pence on the GOP ticket.

Trump, meanwhile, largely only felt regret for "disappointing the Pences" with his remarks, Alberta writes. Pence "bunkered down" in Indiana with his wife, whom he reportedly calls "Mother," after hearing the news, and told his advisers he "wasn't sure he could continue with the campaign," Alberta continues. Trump later called Pence to explain the situation, and upon hanging up, reportedly said "Mother is not going to like this."

Karen Pence didn't, telling her husband "she would no longer appear in public if he carried on as Trump's running mate," Alberta writes. Read more at Politico.