DONALD TRUMP’S right hand man Mike Pence has held a large degree of influence in the Trump administration since he was sworn into office in 2017.
Pence, the affable Indiana governor and now Vice President of the United States has fielded criticism for many of his political views. Here’s all you need to know.
Trump entered office as the 48th vice president after a fiery election campaign.
Pence is the first to serve a president with no prior experience in government or the military.
So who exactly is Vice President Mike Pence?
Mike Pence was raised a Democrat by Irish-Catholic parents in Indiana. Former president John F Kennedy was one of his early heroes.
His conversion to born-again Christianity, and the influence of Ronald Reagan, saw him switch allegiance to the Republicans.
He married his wife Karen in 1985 and they have three children – Michael, Charlotte and Audrey.
He has been in office for 15 years, first as a member of congress and then, since 2013, as Indiana’s governor.
Mr Pence also served as the chair of the House Republican Conference, the third highest-ranking Republican leadership position.
Why was he picked as Trump’s right hand man?
Pence was considered a safe choice, as a long-serving Republican official with close ties both to the party establishment and grassroots.
He has been lauded within his own party for his experience and his solid conservative credentials.
While in office he pushed for a reduction in government spending, quickly gaining a reputation as a canny conservative.
Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, has described him a “personal friend” and a “movement conservative”.
Pence is also an Evangelical Christian, and was an early supporter of the Tea Party movement.
What’s he best known for?
Mr Pence sparked public outcry when he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was accused of worsening discrimination against the LGBT community.
Those that backed the proposal said it would expand “religious liberty” by allowing business owners to push back when government policy was in conflict with their beliefs.
But opponents said the law was discriminatory against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and it was criticised by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, and other prominent business leaders.
After heavy criticism, Pence later signed a revised version of the law
Does Mike Pence have coronavirus?
The vice president tested negative for coronavirus hours after President Trump announced his positive result on October 2.
His press secretary Devin O’Malley announced Pence’s results on Twitter Friday said on Friday that the VP has been tested for COVID-19 “every day.”
“Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery,” O’Malley wrote.
What did Mike Pence say about Donald Trump testing positive for Covid?
Pence tweeted his well wishes to Trump and his wife in the early hours of Friday morning.
The vice president said he and his wife Karen will join “millions across America” in praying for the Trumps’ recovery.
“Karen and I send our love and prayers to our dear friends President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS Melania Trump,” he wrote.
What is his net worth?
The vice president is worth about $1 million, almost entirely thanks to state and federal pensions, Forbes reported.
Pensions payments of at least $85,000 per year will set Pence up for the rest of his life.
Combined, they are worth $1.2 million.
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