Vice President Mike Pence slammed a report that an openly gay Olympian is refusing to meet with him as “fake news.”
The vice president took a page from President Donald Trump when he tweeted on Thursday, “One reporter trying to distort 18 yr old nonstory to sow seeds of division. We won’t let that happen! #FAKENEWS. Our athletes are the best in the world and we are for ALL of them! #TEAMUSA”
USA Today reported that Pence and his team tried to set up a meeting with figure skater Adam Rippon, who is the first openly gay American athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics – along with Gus Kenworthy. The newspaper reported that Rippon refused the offer, adding that while he might be open to a discussion with Pence after he’s done competing, he would not go out of his way for the meeting. Rippon also mentioned Pence’s history of opposition to gay rights and what has been interpreted as support for gay conversation therapy.
“If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick. I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet somebody like that,” Rippon said, according to USA Today.
After the White House claimed there was no offer to meet in light of Rippon’s comments, the Olympic athlete reiterated his thoughts on Twitter noting, “I personally have nothing to say to Mike Pence.”
Shortly after his earlier tweet, Pence added that he supports Rippon and hopes he will “bring home the gold.”