And in the pair of tweets, he works in two mentions of “fake news.”
Mike Pence recently made a dubious overture to openly gay Olympian Adam Rippon while fitting in not just one, but two references to “fake news” in his tweets.
Recently, reports emerged that Rippon, a figure skater, had declined a meeting with the vice president to discuss his public fight against Pence’s legacy of homophobia. Pence traveled to South Korea to lead the U.S. delegation of athletes, including Rippon, in the opening ceremonies.
Rippon said to USA Today before the games, “If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick. I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that.”
These were the remarks Pence appeared to be referencing with a pair of tweets sent on the eve of the opening ceremony.
Headed to the Olympics to cheer on #TeamUSA. One reporter trying to distort 18 yr old nonstory to sow seeds of divi… https://t.co/Oe6bUNrARs— Vice President Mike Pence (@Vice President Mike Pence)1518066278.0
.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GRE… https://t.co/xk6LQYfiKf— Vice President Mike Pence (@Vice President Mike Pence)1518066386.0
Complicating matters further is a subsequent televised stance by Kelly Rippon, Adam’s mom, who stated that the Olympian had not ruled out a meeting with Pence despite his comments. She also took Pence to task on his administration’s endemic reliance on the cry of “fake news” to spin a narrative in their favor. She said in the video below, “I just think that, that — that when people keep saying that word ‘fake news’ over and over again, it implies that you can do things and you can never be held accountable for them because you just say that it’s fake. That repetition of that term, I don’t think, is good.”
While Pence bizarrely seems to belabor what appears to be an otherwise cut-and-dry issue, Rippon has remained silent in recent days, wisely choosing to focus on his Olympian tasks rather than engage the vice president in … whatever it is he’s trying to do.