Trump isn't crazy to question Mike Pence's loyalty

But among the president’s loyalists, the weekend following the release of the Access Hollywood tape is remembered as a key test of fidelity—one that separates the true believers who stuck by Trump’s side from the opportunists and cowards who were ready to abandon him. Pence’s behavior in those crucial 48 hours left some with the impression that he wouldn’t hesitate to prioritize his own political self-interest in a moment of crisis. “I don’t think he goes down with the ship,” one former Trump adviser told me last year…

Pence’s public obsequiousness belies the enormity of his personal ambition—something that’s also long been tangled up in his religious beliefs, according to people who know him. This is a man who (according to a former frat brother I talked to) has dreamt of becoming president since he was in college, a man who looks at his ascent to the vice presidency and sees divine intervention.

“If you’re Mike Pence, and you believe what he believes, you know God had a plan,” Ralph Reed, an evangelical powerbroker and friend of the vice president’s, told me last year.

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