Vice President Mike Pence tried to kiss his wife Karen in the minutes after Trump won the 2016 election on November 9 – but she reportedly turned away from him and said: “You got what you wanted. Now leave me alone.”
But Pence wasn’t alone in her scorn, as she “wouldn’t so much as say hello to Trump,” after the win Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball and The Big Short, wrote in a Guardian article based on several interviews with Trump insiders and published on Thursday.
In an account of Trump’s unexpected win and chaotic transition into the White House, Lewis writes that Trump “just stared at the TV without saying anything, like a man with a pair of twos whose bluff has been called,” after clinching Pennsylvania at 1:35 a.m., thereby winning the election against all odds.
Trump, thinking he wouldn’t win, didn’t pay for, or even have, a transition team in place upon winning. Trump staffer and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie volunteered to lead the transition team, but Trump didn’t want one, Lewis writes.
Finally, when Christie told Trump it was a legal requirement to have a plan for the presidency, Trump agreed begrudgingly.
But when Trump read in the paper that Christie had raised money to pay people, Trump called Christie and campaign chief Steve Bannon to Trump Tower and screamed: “You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my f—— money! What the f— is this?” Lewis writes.
Trump only calmed down when Bannon reminded Trump that if he didn’t have a team, people would think he wasn’t confident about winning, according to Lewis.
Lewis’s book is not the first time reporting has surfaced to suggest Karen Pence has a tense relationship with Trump.
An Atlantic profile of Mike Pence published earlier this year quoted a former campaign aide who said the second lady was “disgusted” after an “Access Hollywood” video surfaced in which Trump brags about groping women without their consent.
The aide said Karen Pence finds Trump “reprehensible,” though the vice president’s office denied the characterization.
Karen Pence has not publicly criticized Trump, and Vice President Pence has been unwavering in his support of the president and his policies.