Jan 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Pence's former chief of staff endorses Trump

Mike Pence's former Chief of Staff Nick Ayers (2R) listen as Trump speaks to the press in 2018. Photo:  Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Pence's former Chief of Staff Nick Ayers (2R) listens as Trump speaks to the press. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Pence's former chief of staff Nick Ayers is endorsing former President Trump, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: It's a sign that after this week's swift and decisive Iowa caucuses results, Trump is starting to pick up endorsements from Republicans who have previously stayed neutral.

What we're watching: "What happened in Iowa was an overwhelming mandate that every dollar should be spent on consolidating the GOP, not attacking Republicans," Ayers told Axios.

The details: Ayers considers the remaining candidates — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley — friends but noted "they had two years to make their case to voters and they fell 3x short."

Between the lines: Ayers tells Axios he has deep respect for Pence and that the two men enjoy a great friendship.

The other side: Ahead of Monday's Iowa caucus, Pence encouraged voters to choose another candidate and denounced Trump's characterization of the events of Jan 6, 2021 as "peaceful."

  • Pence said the early state contests allow "good Republican voters" to "give our party a fresh start and give us new leadership to lead our party forward in the election and beyond."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details about Everylife Diapers and PublicSquare.

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