Although he has also denied writing the op-ed piece, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is the kind of sober man who would be appalled by Trump. A Hoosier, like Pence, he shares a long history with the vice president that includes a previous controversy involving anonymous actors.
Now a top security official, Coats may share many of the concerns that Anonymous raised in the op-ed. “In public and in private,” the article notes, “President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.”
Besides these foreign policy fears, the op-ed describes the ways that Trump has veered from Republican norms on trade and press freedom. But at the core of the critique is moral outrage. “The root of the problem is the President’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making,” Anonymous wrote.
The perspective evidenced by Anonymous would be familiar to anyone who followed Pence over the years and is consistent with the views he espoused prior to joining Trump on the national ticket for the election of 2016. As a calm and highly religious man, Pence is deemed to be a counterweight to the impetuous and profane Trump. He was, for some voters, a sort of guarantee that the President wouldn’t do anything too extreme and that should the worst come to pass, the country would be in steady hands.
In the role of loyal but often absent vice president, Pence has retained the support of the Trump base, which means there would be no great uprising if he assumes the presidency. Calm would prevail and no proof would be found linking him to the Resistance.