On a piece published Nov. 16, the New York Times reported that several aides and advisers in the White House had heard Trump openly question his second-in-command. Trump countered that story in front of a crowd of reporters at the White House before boarding a plane to California on Saturday.
"No, I don't question his loyalty at all. He is 100 percent loyal. It was a phony story," he said
"Mike Pence is 100 percent," Trump added. "Not even a doubt about it in my mind. He's been a trooper. He's been with me from as soon as I won the primaries. I could not be happier."
He also rebuked the report using his favorite medium.
The New York Times did a phony story, as usual, about my relationship with @VP Mike Pence. They made up sources and refused to ask me, the only one that would know, for a quote....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2018
....I can’t imagine any President having a better or closer relationship with their Vice President then the two of us. Just more FAKE NEWS, the Enemy of the People!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2018
Trump's remarks are in line with a statement released by the White House on Friday rebuking the Times' story.
"The president absolutely supports the vice president and thinks he's doing an incredible job helping to carry out the mission and policies of this administration," said Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.
While taking part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea, Pence told reporters that the president called him to talk the story over. Trump reportedly told Pence that no anonymous sources "would say what that article said."
“The president and I are very close,” Pence said, according to NBC. “We have a very strong relationship. And I’ve been honored to serve as his vice president. And I was honored when he asked me to run with him again.”