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Congressman Jamie Raskin

Representing the 8th District of Maryland

Reps. Raskin, Gallego, Lieu, Jayapal & Boyle to Pence: Reimburse Taxpayers for Your NFL Publicity Stunt

October 19, 2017
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) ­– Today, Reps. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Brendan Boyle (PA-13) wrote to Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to instruct the Trump-Pence campaign to reimburse taxpayers for the full cost of his travel and expenses to Indianapolis, where he walked out of a National Football League (NFL) game in an orchestrated publicity stunt.

On October 8, 2017 Vice President Pence left the Colts game immediately following the national anthem, purportedly in response to peaceful protests by a growing number of NFL players against racial injustice in America. Media reports and President Donald Trump himself indicate that the act was premeditated and designed to generate publicity for the administration.

In their letter, the Representatives ask the Vice President to reimburse taxpayers for the full cost of the trip. They also call on Pence to publicly disclose the cost of travel (to and from the game), as well as all communications between his staff and campaign personnel related to the matter.

“Flying across the country and back at taxpayer expense simply to enter and then immediately depart a football stadium serves no discernable public interest,” the Representatives said. “Instead, the fact that your campaign immediately sought to capitalize on this exercise in order to solicit donations leaves the distinct impression that this trip was purely political in nature and was unrelated to your official duties.”

The full text of the letter is available here.

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