President Trump took questions from reporters Saturday as he was departing for California where will meet with officials view the relief effort underway amid the devastating wildfires. He was asked about Jamal Khashoggi, bashed the New York Times story about Vice President Mike Pence, and questioned the premise that the migrant caravan has anything to do with asylum.
"I don't question [Pence's] loyalty at all, he is 100% loyal," said Trump in answer to a question about the New York Times story that claimed the President has lately been questioning the VP's loyalty and considering whether or not they'll stay together for the 2020 reelection bid.
"It was a phony story. I doubt they had any sources, a typical New York Times phony story," he said (SEE CLIP BELOW). "Mike Pence is a hundred percent, not even a doubt about it in my mind."
The NYT story claimed that Trump has questioned Pence's loyalty so many times that unnamed Trump "advisers" are "alarmed" according to unnammed White House aides.
"That was a phony story written by the New York Times, who by the way never called me for a comment," said Trump on Saturday. "How do you do a story like that, see it's fake news, and that's what breaks up a country: fake news."
"How do you do a story like that and you don't call the principapl? I would give them a quote, I would say 'it's not true', and that's the end of their story," he continued. "But they don't do that, they write, and they did make up sources. They might speak to one person, but they make up phony sources--like you write a novel. Have you ever written a novel? That's the way a lot of the news stories are written, that's why I call it fake news. It's fake. And it's a very bad thing for our country, it's very dangerous."
Watch the clip below.
President Trump talks to reporters before leaving for California and trashes "phony" New York Times story about Mike Pence. "How do you do a story like that and you don't call" me or Sarah Sanders for a quote? pic.twitter.com/4EEovhYYMs— TheBlaze (@theblaze) November 17, 2018
"Mike Pence is a hundred percent, they should retract that story. But you can't do that story without calling me for a quote, or you could call Sarah Huckabee and say, 'could I get a quote?' -- and here she is," he said, indicating Sanders who was off to one side, "'could I get a quote from the president?' And I would be happy to give a quote. I would be happy. And you know what the quote would be? 'Mike Pence is one hundred percent.' Now you can't do your story. So that's why they don't like calling me for a quote."
UPDATE: President Trump tweeted about this from aboard Air Force One after the press gaggle.
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