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Pence abruptly cancels trip, is summoned to White House, sparking speculation

Move initially described as ’emergency,’ but officials later downplay incident but won’t say why, only to clarify it’s not related to national security or Trump’s health

US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Donald J. Trump for President Latino Coalition Rollout on June 25, 2019 in Miami, Florida. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)
US Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the Donald J. Trump for President Latino Coalition Rollout on June 25, 2019 in Miami, Florida. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — US Vice President Mike Pence abruptly canceled a trip to New Hampshire on Tuesday, sparking speculation over what was initially described as an “emergency.”

A representative of Pence told an audience in New Hampshire — where the vice president was scheduled to give a speech on drug addiction — that he had been “called back” to Washington.

“Air Force 2 was heading this way. There’s been an emergency callback. The vice president was asked to return to Washington,” said a Pence office representative, Randy Gentry, in a video posted online.

However, Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah quickly downplayed the incident saying there was “no cause for alarm” and indicated that rather than being called back, the vice president had not left Washington in the first place.

“Something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC. It’s no cause for alarm. He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon,” Farah tweeted.

President Donald Trump talks during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 1, 2019, with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“The @VP never left Washington, DC. There was no ’emergency callback.’ Something came up that required the VP to stay in DC. We’ll reschedule NH shortly.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere said only that, “Something came up and the VP needed to be in D.C.,” adding: “there is no cause for alarm.”

One senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation, said the issue was not national security-related. Another senior administration official said it was not related to any kind of health issue impacting Pence or President Donald Trump.

Pence had been scheduled to visit Manchester, New Hampshire, Tuesday to speak to and hear from patients at the Granite Recovery Center.

Pence’s plane never took off and he returned to the White House to meet with Trump.

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