President Donald Trump has been asking in “one conversation after another” if his vice president, Mike Pence, is loyal to him, according to sources who spoke to the New York Times.
The subject has reportedly been brought up so many times that some of his advisers are starting to grow alarmed.
Trump has not openly discussed parting ways with Pence, according to the Times. But White House advisers told the publication that the questions could indicate that Trump has grown irritated with his vice president.
Hogan Gidley, the deputy press secretary, insisted that Trump “absolutely supports the vice president and thinks he’s doing an incredible job helping to carry out the mission and policies of this administration.”
The news comes amid reports that Trump is considering ousting his current chief of staff, John Kelly, and replacing him with Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers.
According to Politico, Ayers “enjoys warm relations” with his eldest son, Don Jr., his eldest daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“Two White House officials who were skeptical this summer of Ayers’ chances of becoming chief of staff both said this week that they think Trump is now serious about wanting to tap him,” Politico reported.
Some people close to the president believe that Trump’s questions about Pence’s loyalty are “a proxy for asking about whether the vice president’s chief of staff… is trustworthy,” the New York Times reported.