By Andrew HarnikThe New York Times (NYT) – Today, the president named Mike Pence to lead his new White Houses press operation.
The decision comes less than two weeks after Trump fired White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, a former Indiana University professor who had served as the president’s closest confidant.
Pence, who was the vice president under President George W. Bush, was a Republican governor and senator who has a reputation as a strong advocate of the conservative agenda.
But Pence has a history of running afoul of the press.
In 2013, Pence and then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) introduced a bill that would have mandated that abortions be performed in the third trimester and that fetuses had a higher chance of surviving to birth.
Pence voted against the bill, but he later voted for it as vice president.
Pence’s past ties to conservative activists drew the ire of liberal activists, who called his remarks “outrageous and offensive.”
Pence has repeatedly denied the accusations.
The vice president is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders of the president.
“He is not someone who is going to be out there trying to attack people in the press,” Pence told reporters during a visit to the White House.
“And I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Oh, I’m just going to attack his people.’
I’m going to say, he’s doing his job.”
Pence is known for his strong ties to the GOP, having served as a chief adviser for the president and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.
In a letter to Pence’s office, former White House chief of policy and public affairs adviser Rick Dearborn wrote that Pence “is well-versed in the conservative movement and in how to harness the power of the media to advance conservative causes and goals.”
“He has the experience, credentials, and ability to serve as the press secretary, and I believe his experience, knowledge, and leadership in this area will be invaluable to this administration,” Dearborn added.
“It is my sincere hope that you will find the right person to help us build the greatest news organization in the world.”
Pence’s first job will be working as a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which Trump tapped as the chairman of the committee in January.
Pence previously served as vice chair of the RNC and a senior adviser to the Republican Governors Association.
Pence also worked as the chief communications officer for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Pence has said that he believes the Republican Party is headed in the right direction, although he has expressed concerns about the party’s economic policies and the direction of the country.
Pence was a key player in the GOP’s unsuccessful 2012 bid to reclaim the House, winning it back from Democrats.
Pence is not the first member of Trump ‘s administration to come under fire for a political decision.
In March, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned from his job after a Washington Post report detailed his conversations with the Russian ambassador about sanctions on Russia.
In August, President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey after he publicly questioned the president ‘s credibility.
Flynn resigned shortly after, while Comey was fired after the president claimed that he was fired because of his handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.