President Trump on Friday deepened the mystery of why Vice President Mike Pence abruptly canceled a trip to New Hampshire earlier this week, saying it had to do with a problem in the state and all would be revealed in ‘about two weeks.’
It was ‘a very interesting problem that they had in New Hampshire,’ he told reporters at the White House.
‘You will know in about two weeks,’ he added.
But the president, known for his frequent tweets on all manner of subjects, refused to give a hint as to what it could be.
‘I can’t tell you about it,’ Trump said. ‘But it had nothing to do with the White House. There was a problem up there. And I won’t go into what the problem was but you will see in about a week or two.’
Pence abruptly cancelled an appearance at an opioid event in New Hampshire on Tuesday afternoon because of an ’emergency.’
Chief of staff Marc Short told reporters at the White House that it would be ‘weeks from now’ before the reason would be disclosed, according to Bloomberg.
The bizarre situation began at lunchtime, when a Pence representative came on stage at the New Hampshire event to say the VP had been recalled.
‘Air Force Two was heading this way. There’s been an emergency callback. The vice president has been asked to return to Washington,’ Randy Gentry said.
Pence’s office clarified later that AF2 never left the ground.
The vice president, however, was on the plane preparing to leave when the trip was canceled.
‘There was no “emergency callback,” his spokeswoman said.
The announcement in New Hampshire set off panic at the White House, where Pence was observed entering the West Wing.
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley tried to tamp down anxiety, telling a group of journalists huddled in the corridor outside his office that there was ‘no cause for concern.’
‘Something came up that requires the VP to remain in D.C. There is no cause for concern,’ he declared.
Gidley said Pence was not in the Oval Office with the president. He did not tell reporters what the situation was that caused the Salem, New Hampshire event to be called off.
Pence was due to hold a roundtable with patients of the Granite Recovery Center at its headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.
But Gentry got on stage a little under an hour before the event was scheduled begin and said he had ‘some bad news’ and there was an ’emergency callback.’
‘The vice president has been asked to return to Washington. So, at this time, we’re going to cancel today’s event. Does not mean we will not come back. But we do have a situation, whereby the vice president was recalled back to Washington,’ he said.
‘We’re sorry for this. This doesn’t happen very often.’
It remained a mystery what the ’emergency’ was that caused Pence to cancel, and who had called him and asked him to come back.
A senior official told White House reporters that neither the president nor the vice president was experiencing a medical emergency.
‘No medical emergency with either person,’ the person said.
National security concerns were also ruled out as reporters scrambled to figure out why Pence had cancelled his event.
Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah did not respond to a request for comment but said in a tweet: ‘Something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC. It’s no cause for alarm. He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon.’
She said later, ‘The @VP never left Washington, DC. There was no “emergency callback.” Something came up that required the VP to stay in DC. We’ll reschedule NH shortly.’