When Mike Pence underwent heart surgery earlier this month, he had alerted only a few family members and aides beforehand. Several onetime Pence aides were caught off guard when he released a statement that after experiencing "symptoms associated with a slow heart rate" for two weeks, the former vice president had a pacemaker implanted at a Virginia hospital.
Even Donald Trump only learned of the surgery from media reports, according to two people familiar with the matter. The former President later called Pence to wish him a speedy recovery, both people said...
The relationship between the two Republican leaders has remained cordial but strained since January -- when the then-vice president bucked Trump's desire to block the counting of the electoral votes and was faced with the threat of a violent mob storming the US Capitol.
After both men left office on January 20, they have spoken at least once a month on the phone, including a call from Trump in March to congratulate Pence on the birth of his first grandchild. But unlike other GOP leaders who have made the trek to Mar-a-Lago, Pence (who is splitting his time between Indiana and the Washington area) has not met with Trump in person since the former President departed permanently for Florida.