By Alex Pappas
Published July 03, 2019
Vice President Pence’s abrupt decision Tuesday to abandon plans to fly to New Hampshire for an opioid event -- and instead return to the White House -- has prompted confusion and conflicting statements from members of his team, as administration officials refused to divulge the reason for the last-minute change.
Fox News has requested an explanation, but officials have not yet provided details. Still, Pence’s office has sought to downplay the change of plans.
"Something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC," Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah tweeted. "It’s no cause for alarm. He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon."
The unusual sequence of events started Tuesday morning when a crowd in Salem was waiting for Pence to participate in a roundtable discussion and, later, deliver remarks on the opioid crisis and illegal drug flow in New Hampshire.
Shortly before the vice president was scheduled to arrive, an announcer at the event told the crowd that Air Force Two was no longer coming to New Hampshire because of an "emergency callback."
“We do have a situation where the vice president was called back to Washington,” Randy Gentry, a representative of Pence's office, told the crowd.
Those comments caused confusion over whether Pence was actually en route to New Hampshire or not. But Farah, Pence’s spokeswoman, later explained that the vice president never left Washington -- and said it wasn't an "emergency callback."
Pence had been scheduled to land in New Hampshire at about 11:30 a.m. EDT. At about 11:55 a.m., Pence’s vehicle pulled into the White House complex, and the vice president exited and walked into the West Wing.
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short later told ABC News that Pence had boarded the plane, but Air Force Two had not taken off yet. Adding to the confusion, the ABC reporter tweeted that Short said the details of Tuesday’s events will be public “in a few weeks.”
Meanwhile, without giving details, a senior White House official told reporters the situation is not health-related for Pence or President Trump, and is not related to national security.
Trump is in Washington on Tuesday, but has no public events scheduled.
Fox News’ Blake Burman and Rob DiRienzo contributed to this report.