Pence's office is selectively retaliating against reporters who disclosed its Mayo Clinic mask warning

Peter Weber

Vice President Mike Pence wore a mask at a ventilator plant in Indiana on Thursday, two days after he was criticized for flouting the Mayo Clinic's rules by declining to wear facial covering. But for some reason, Pence's office seems to want to keep the story alive.

Karen Pence assured Fox News on Thursday that her husband had not been informed of the mandatory mask policy until after the Mayo tour concluded. This contradicted a since-deleted tweet from the Mayo Clinic, and two reporters tweeted after Karen Pence's interview that the vice president's office had informed them a day earlier about the Mayo Clinic's policy.

Steve Herman, who covers the White House for VOA News, said the White House Correspondents' Association informed him Pence's office has banned him from further travel on Air Force Two, The Washington Post reports. Pence's office and VOA later said discussions are still ongoing about any possible punishment. Gordon Lubold, who works for The Wall Street Journal, has not been sanctioned by Pence's office for his tweet.

The ostensible issue is Herman violating confidentiality rules. Monday's planning memo was marked "OFF THE RECORD AND FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY," but that standard requirement is typically for security purposes, the Post reports, and "there's some question about how long the obligation lasts — whether it is permanent or only applies to the period before and during the trip." Herman's tweet was nearly 48 hours after the trip. Pence's office declined to comment.

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