In April 2022, social media users enthusiastically shared what appeared to be a statement by former U.S. President Donald Trump in which he attacked former Vice President Mike Pence as "a dog that belongs on the street."
However, the statement was bogus and was not posted on Trump's website or by his spokespersons. Although Trump has been critical of Pence for not attempting to overthrow the election of Joe Biden in January 2021, Trump did not liken him to a dog in an April 11, 2022, statement. Our rating is therefore "Misattributed."
The phony statement was convincing to some social media users because it appeared in a similar style to Trump's official statements, which can be found on his website. It was dated April 11, 2022, and read as follows:
Today we celebrate National Pet Day, when all Americans give thanks for their pets. While many people know Melania and I did not have an official pet in the White House during our four great years there, we did have a dog and his name was Vice President Mike Pence.
People say that the election was stolen from me, and Mike Pence did not have the strength to do the right thing and overturn the election. Pence, therefore, is a dog that belongs on the street hanging outside the home of Nancy Pelosi eating whatever scraps she will feed him. While I thought Mike was my dog, he was the dog of liberals like Pelosi and the deep state.
While I feed my pets Trump Steaks, the liberals and the corrupt media can feed Mike Pence Alpo Dog Food since he is weak and whoever this Unknown Resister Democrat is that is making videos about me and the great MAGA supporters can eat Alpo too. He is not very smart.
When Trump issues a statement, it appears in one or more of three places: His official website; the Twitter feed of spokesperson Liz Harrington; or the Twitter feed of spokesperson Taylor Budowich. Those are such reliable and consistent sources of Trump's statements that the absence of a supposed statement from those platforms is tantamount to proof that the statement is inauthentic.
As of April 12, a full day after the supposed "Pet Pence" messages was made public, none of those three sources held any record of any such statement. If further proof were needed, Trump's apparent reference to an "Unknown Resister" is revealing. "The Unknown Resister" is a social media project of Stand For Better — a left-leaning political action committee that produces self-described political satire — which posted the most widely shared version of the "Pet Pence" message, in April 2022.
Since January 2021, Trump and many of his allies have criticized Pence for not attempting to overthrow the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, while Pence has insisted that he had "no right" to intervene in the certification of electoral college votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump has repeatedly used "dog" as an insult, but not (so far) against his erstwhile ally, Pence.