Mike Pence, The Next President? VP Says Trump Administration is Cooperating Fully with Russia Probe

Vice President Mike Pence has insisted he is cooperating fully with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia.

The first in line for the presidency should Trump step down, be indicted, or be unable to perform his role, explained in an interview with The Ingraham Angle on Wednesday night he was not distracted by the ongoing investigation but was complying with requests.

“We’re fully cooperating with the special counsel and we’ll continue to. But I’ve got to tell you, it’s just not been a focus of mine,” Pence explained, adding he the administration has also not been focused on “whatever Washington D.C. has been focused on.”

“So we’ll let the special counsel do their job and continue to cooperate, but we’re going continue to focus on our job, and I think that’s exactly what the American people want us to do,” he added.

12_14_Mike_Pence U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives before U.S. President Donald Trump and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speak at a joint statement at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 23. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

His comments come following reported concern from the vice president’s aides that he may be interviewed by Mueller, who recently seized emails from Trump’s transition team, which was led by Pence.

A CNN report on the investigation, in particular, the charge against Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn of lying to the FBI, highlighted concerns from Pence’s inner circle that he would be called to speak with Mueller and explain his “in the dark” defense, which appeared to be thrown into question by Flynn’s guilty plea.

Pence was also reportedly among senior officials who were involved in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, which is the basis for the allegation that Trump obstructed justice.

Trump wrote a memo stating the reason for firing Comey was to shut down the Russia investigation, and he read it to Pence and close officials before scrapping it. That means  Pence may have known  Trump’s real motivation for canning Comey, but publicly backed Trump’s cover story the next day. 

There have also been a number of rumors that Pence is intent on protecting his own political future separate from that of Trump's, with the vice president taking the unusual step of setting up his own Political Action Committee in May, as well as appearing to distance himself from Trump in the middle of the year as the president's allies seemingly became further mired in the Russia investigation.