The Denver Post - - NEWS - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

N.J.» Vice Pres­i­dent BRIDGEWATER, Mike Pence has pushed back against a news re­port sug­gest­ing he is lay­ing ground­work for a pos­si­ble pres­i­den­tial bid in 2020 if Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump does not run.

In a state­ment re­leased by the White House, Pence said Sun­day’s story in The New York Times “is dis­grace­ful and of­fen­sive to me, my fam­ily and our en­tire team.” He added that “the al­le­ga­tions in this ar­ti­cle are cat­e­gor­i­cally false.”

The for­mal re­but­tal of a news re­port by the vice pres­i­dent was an un­usual move. In it, Pence also said his team will “fo­cus all our ef­forts to ad­vance the pres­i­dent’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020.”

The re­port de­tails ef­forts of sev­eral Repub­li­cans look­ing ahead to 2020, call­ing it a “shadow cam­paign.” It notes Pence’s po­lit­i­cal sched­ule and ac­tive fundrais­ing, al­though it also says un­named ad­vis­ers have sig­naled that he would run only if Trump doesn’t.

The ar­ti­cle noted Pence has set up a fundrais­ing com­mit­tee. Called the Great Amer­ica Com­mit­tee, it can ac­cept checks of up to $5,000 from in­di­vid­ual donors. Pence raised about $1 mil­lion at a Wash­ing­ton fundraiser last month, at­tended by dozens of law­mak­ers and fea­tur­ing re­marks from White House ad­viser Ivanka Trump.

Trump has not sug­gested he won’t seek a sec­ond term. But his first six months in of­fice have been tur­bu­lent, marked by staff in­fight­ing, leg­isla­tive strug­gles and a series of in­ves­ti­ga­tions. ●●●

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