Mike Pence abruptly returns to White House as reports of ‘emergency’ situation spark online misinformation

Mike Pence abruptly returns to White House as reports of ‘emergency’ situation spark online misinformationVice President Mike Pence was sent back to the White House on Tuesday after originally being scheduled to attend an event on the nationwide opioid crisis in New Hampshire. The development of Mr Pence’s abrupt change in plans was initially reported by Fox News, which stated the vice president was returning to Washington due to an “emergency”. However, officials declined to publicly cite the reason for the change throughout the day, sparking confusion and apparent online misinformation. Marc Short, chief of staff to the vice president, later told reporters there was no emergency and that Mr Pence’s trip to New Hampshire would be rescheduled for a later date. “The vice president was called back to the White House but there’s no cause for alarm,” Mr Short said, adding that Mr Pence’s plane never departed from Washington. Several initial reports had suggested Air Force Two was rerouted back to Washington after having already left the capitol for the opioid event.A reporter on Fox News said the vice president was “about to land in New Hampshire” but “turned around” due to the last-minute change, while another guest on the MSNBC network echoed those claims, saying the plane had been turned around. Still, a senior official reportedly told the White House press pool — a rotating group of reporters covering the president — that “the VP had not left DC and he’s currently at the White House.”Officials also said the change had nothing to do with either Mr Pence or Donald Trump's health. Alyssa Farah, the vice president’s spokesperson, also said there was “no cause for alarm” in a tweet confirming the itinerary change. “Something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC,” she wrote. “He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon.”The roundtable discussion Mr Pence was scheduled to participate in Manchester, New Hampshire involved patients from the Granite Recovery Centre headquarters. Mr Pence was also reportedly expected to discuss illegal drug trafficking across the state.The White House did not return requests for comment.

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July 2, 2019 11:52 pm

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