Former Vice President Mike Pence and former President Donald Trump have spoken twice since the inauguration last month, according to a knowledgeable source, who described the pair’s relationship as “amicable.”
The source would not provide CNN further details about the relationship, or describe the contents of the calls. One call was initiated by each.
CNN previously reported that Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday, according to a source familiar with the matter, while Pence declined an invitation to speak at the conference, according to two sources. The knowledgeable source said Monday that the reason Pence isn’t going to CPAC is because “it’s tradition the outgoing pres and VP stay quiet, and the incoming president deserves that courtesy.”
The two former leaders’ difference in approach comes as the GOP is grappling with its future in the post-Trump era and follows tensions between Trump and Pence surrounding the January 6 riot at the US Capitol and the former vice president’s role in certifying the results of the election for President Joe Biden.
The source also noted the former vice president is close to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, now head of the Republican Governors Association. By the summertime, the source said, Pence will be more active in politics, probably in the gubernatorial cycle, and has told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy he’ll be active, too.
As for the former President’s CPAC appearance and beyond, the source said, “People don’t want to risk (Trump’s) wrath, but no one really knows how it’s going to play out.”
The problem, the source said, is that the ex-President isn’t going to have a strong political team around him. “A lot of people are circling in and out,” including those who will meet with him in Florida before the conference, such as Jason Miller, Bill Stepien, Justin Clark and Brad Parscale.
“They’re going to want to continue to push out the narrative that he’s the kingmaker,” the source added.