If there's one thing Mike Pence has learned from his boss, Donald Trump, it's how to act petty towards press whose job is to ensure the truth gets out.
During a recent trip to the Mayo Clinic, Vice President Pence inspired national headlines by refusing to wear a mask, despite the fact that hospital policy required him to do so.
In an interview with Fox News, Karen Pence claimed that the Vice President "had no idea he was supposed to wear a mask."
Karen Pence says vice president didn't know about Mayo Clinic mask policy until he left https://t.co/oVR1QUCMuu https://t.co/5dgqfqcHxi— The Hill (@The Hill) 1588256705.0
Congrats to Karen Pence on becoming the ultimate Karen. https://t.co/y1QW3IlbSA— Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler) 1588274789.0
The hospital then posted (and later deleted) a tweet saying the Vice President had been made aware of their protocols.
Pence was the only person without a mask during the tour and if, at any point, he had realized his "mistake," he could surely have asked for one.
Mike and Karen Pence are absolutely horrible human beings. That’s all.— Tony Posnanski (@Tony Posnanski) 1588252528.0
After Karen Pence's appearance on Fox News, White House reporter Steve Herman, who writes for Voice of America, tweeted that the entire press core had been informed of the mask policy by Mike Pence's office.
All of us who traveled with him were notified by the office of @VP the day before the trip that wearing of masks wa… https://t.co/bQbxhCkNm3— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman) 1588254283.0
After his tweet, Herman was informed by the White House Correspondents' Association that he had been banned from future trips with the Vice President.
Other reporters backed up Herman's claim online.
Here at the Clinic with Pence and mayo made it clear **everyone should have a mask and VP is the only one not weari… https://t.co/Vx3oifhPEA— Gordon Lubold (@Gordon Lubold) 1588099416.0
also, everyone in the entire Mayo Clinic had a mask on, everyone, and we were all told the day before we had to wea… https://t.co/nebN9yCx0P— Gordon Lubold (@Gordon Lubold) 1588258918.0
A copy of the message from Pence's office reportedly read:
"Please note, the Mayo Clinic is requiring [that] all individuals traveling with the VP wear masks. Please bring one to wear while on the trip."
Does Karen Pence know it’s a sin to tell a lie? https://t.co/GRK8wtMmRm— Barbara Malmet (@Barbara Malmet) 1588255900.0
The Vice President's attempts to punish a reporter who was simply reporting the facts didn't go unnoticed by Twitter.
@jdawsey1 That reporter, Steve Herman, just happens to work for @VOANews. The @VP’s office is threatening retaliati… https://t.co/paDHAxgcsd— Sanho Tree (@Sanho Tree) 1588300238.0
Do not let @vp incompetent staff bully or smear @W7VOA Steve Herman for doing his job, reporting the facts about Pe… https://t.co/8ErRK1x8yM— Nina Burleigh (@Nina Burleigh) 1588343820.0
@Mike_Pence @VP @realDonaldTrump Why does Steve Herman @W7VOA need to apologize to you. It's you who need to apolo… https://t.co/N5Lk51b0bJ— Thomas Thomas (@Thomas Thomas) 1588300647.0
Voice of America's Steve Herman was banned after he contradicted second lady Pence regarding the vp dismissal of fa… https://t.co/mJKaJV3IKD— Cecilia Logan (@Cecilia Logan) 1588322425.0
Continuing this administrations Soviet-style commitment to state-sponsored lies, @VP Pence threatens to ban a repor… https://t.co/Biua7ZnWrH— Kurt Eichenwald (@Kurt Eichenwald) 1588297910.0
The VP’s office is not going to punish @W7VOA Steve Herman. This is an intimidation tactic for the VP to avoid prop… https://t.co/gV52pGkbaC— Ⓜ️ike Lahrman (@Ⓜ️ike Lahrman) 1588339734.0
Kudos to my friend Steve Herman at #voa. Getting banned from this White House is a badge of honor: #WhiteHouse Hou… https://t.co/WHh1ZKxqmu— Steve Kindred (@Steve Kindred) 1588298317.0
The Vice President's office have said they might be willing to lift the punishment if Herman apologizes. Voice of America continues to "discuss" the issue with Pence's representatives.
@W7VOA @VP @MayoClinic "All of us who traveled with him were notified by the office of @VP the day before the trip… https://t.co/gWJ1gp9UyW— Phony Constitutional Clauses; Emoluments 🆘😷🗽 (@Phony Constitutional Clauses; Emoluments 🆘😷🗽) 1588259057.0
WH: We’re gonna punish the reporter who wrote that Pence refused to wear a mask during his Mayo Clinic visit. Q: B… https://t.co/wCTAzK8TWz— Dr. David A. Lustig (@Dr. David A. Lustig) 1588347174.0
This is, obviously, absurd. Planning memos are off-the-record to keep travel details confidential, not to protect t… https://t.co/Piy5v7LPwe— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike Hixenbaugh) 1588341907.0
Reporters shouldn't be banned from access to the VP for doing their job, but it's hardly news that this administration has no qualms taking any steps to make themselves look good.