Mike Pence: I'd face a lie-detector test over NYTimes op-ed

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Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday he would take a lie detector test to prove he did not write last week's stunning op-ed as White House officials sought to discredit the author and the idea that President Donald Trump is "erratic" and "amoral".

"No. Never. And why would we be?"

More than two dozen high-ranking administration officials have denied writing the column, and Mr Pence said his staff had nothing to do with it. The Times described the author as "a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure". In Trump's Cabinet alone, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar were both Pence people before they joined the Trump team.

Vice President Mike Pence told CBS News over the weekend that he "would be willing" to sit for an interview with agents from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The vice president declined to speculate on whether someone had purposely inserted the word "lodestar" into the Times op-ed to set him up, telling Wallace simply, "I wouldn't know".

If the version of events revealed by Woodward and the anonymous official is true, America is facing a deeply dysfunctional presidency and crisis of governance with no parallel in modern history, apart, perhaps, from the paranoid final days of the Nixon administration. We have a responsibility to uphold.

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Mayor John Cranley called the police and fire rescue response "heroic". "Horrific, grotesque and unacceptable", he said. Her husband of 12 years, Waller Austin, said in the statement that Whitney is a fighter and is in good spirits.

"To have an individual who took that oath, literally say that they work every day to frustrate the president advancing the agenda was elected to advance is undemocratic", he said. "If this person really believed in their convictions, put their name on it, stand up and resign". "I know their dedication, and I am absolutely confident that no one on the vice president's staff had anything to do with this", he said.

"It's a disgrace. I think the author ... and frankly The New York Times should be ashamed". "I think somebody so cowardly and so conceited would probably go a step further".

Some Democrats, meanwhile, argued that the op-ed and Trump's response to it are proof that the president is not fit to serve.

With Trump having clearly expressed his ire over the anonymous op-ed, White House staffers toggled between playing down the significance of the criticism and denouncing the author.

The president has condemned the paper for publishing the article, saying: "They don't like Donald Trump and I don't like them".

Information for this article was contributed by Michael Scherer of The Washington Post.

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