Mike Pence seeks advice from Joe Biden once a month, author says

By PoliticsFOXBusiness

Being No. 2: Inside the private lives of vice presidents

‘First in Line’ author Kate Andersen Brower takes readers inside the close, sometimes chilly relationships between presidents and their VPs.

While President Trump has not spoken with Barack Obama since the inauguration more than a year ago, Pence has been seeking advice from one very unlikely former vice president: Joe Biden, a new book reveals. The pair reportedly speak once a month.

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“I was surprised by that, and that is not only Joe Biden saying that, but Mike Pence’s staff also confirmed that maybe once a month, at least the two of them will talk about foreign policy,” Kate Andersen Brower, a presidential biographer and author of the new book, “First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power,” tells FOX Business.

And Pence is not only getting advice, he’s also giving it. Brower said the former governor of Indiana is even “occasionally” giving lessons to members of the administration on “how best to handle Trump.”

“When the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the brink of resigning in the summer of 2017 because of frequent clashes with Trump, it was Pence, according to an aide, who coached him on how to handle his relationship with the president,” Brower wrote in “First in Line.”

His advice? Air concerns in private and be respectful in meetings.

“[Pence] has a way of relating to Trump, of speaking to him in a way that gets things done,” she said.

However, a White House source tells FOX Business that while Pence and Biden do share a cordial relationship, the pair “probably only speak every few months.” The last time they spoke was in February, and regarding Pence’s coaching lessons to other staff members, those reports are “simply false.”

Brower said she spent over two years researching and interviewing top White House staff and all former living vice presidents, including Biden, for her book detailing the close but often times "chilly" relationships between presidents and their vice presidents.

In the book, Biden said while he has been offering his advice on foreign policy to Pence and disagrees with a majority of Trump’s policies, he truly believes that Pence doesn’t “necessarily disagree much with the president” on issues.

“I think it’s the real him not taking on the president,” Biden said in the book.

Brower describes Pence’s approach to his role as “servant leadership,” and he tells his staff to follow three keys to leading successfully: “humility, self-control and orientation to authority."

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Vice President Mike Pence during a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I think it's a good relationship [overall]. I think it's fascinating because Donald Trump is a larger-than-life personality and someone like Mike Pence is well matched for him because Pence grew up with a father who was also larger than life, and he always said what he thought. And he has said that Trump reminds him of his father,” Brower said.