Trump denies questioning VP's allegiance, says Pence is '100% loyal'

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis shakes hands with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe watched by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi

The President has not publicly suggested he is considering replacing Pence either before or for a 2020 re-election bid.

Trump, the Times reported, has questioned Pence's loyalty so often "that he has alarmed some of his advisers".

Trump later followed up on Twitter, criticizing the Times again and saying he "can't imagine any President having a better or closer relationship with their Vice President then the two of us". But the report says that few advisers believe he would really go through with a change on the ticket.

Some Trump advisers, primarily outside the White House, have suggested to him that while Mr. Pence remains loyal, he may have used up his utility.

Trump has reportedly been taking the loss of the House poorly, sulking at the prospect of diminished power and the Democrats' soon-to-be-acquired ability to launch investigations into his taxes, business connections, and ties to Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation. Trump asked Pence, who stood up and nodded.

Trump hit back at the report Saturday morning, telling reporters outside the White House that Pence is "100% loyal" and has been a "trooper" within the administration. He expressed disapproval of him as a candidate during the 2016 presidential race after the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape revealed Trump boasting about manhandling women.

"Okay, good", Trump said.

People familiar with Trump's thinking suggested that after loyalists like his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, turned on him, Trump has become paranoid about who his allies and enemies are. "OK, good", the president said.

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