Pence to challenge Trump in 2024?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Trump has made a habit of publicly berating his own vice president

Voters are being asked whether Vice President Mike Pence should run against Donald Trump in 2024.

The question has been put by an initiative group in Colorado in an effort to “restore the presidency” to Republicans.

Of those who responded so far, 68% said Pence should challenge the current president while 22% said he should not.

The White House is expected to reject the idea, with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders saying: “The Vice President is not going to be the next president.”

“The president has earned that title,” she added.

At a rally in Florida last week, Mr Trump chose to target retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who was thought to be contemplating a challenge to him in 2020.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Trump praised Putin as “very smart”

During his speech, he used some strong language in an apparently reference to Senator Flake and his determination to hold his seat in this year’s midterm elections.

“Jeff Flake, really, you’re a terrible senator,” Mr Trump said. “And, Jeff, never mention my name in front of me again. You know that. I don’t care. I don’t care.”

A spokesperson for the group behind the petition was not aware of any official response from the White House, but the press secretary’s comments suggests such an effort will face an uphill struggle.

Instead, Mr Trump is considering Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, to be the next secretary of state, replacing Rex Tillerson, who was fired by the president earlier this month.

The 2018 midterms will see Republicans defend 25 Senate seats, compared with Democrats defending seven.

“With the firing of Rex Tillerson,” said the Secretary of State’s spokesman, Rachael Dean, “President Trump has managed to insult the secretary of state more than anyone could have imagined. It really is a sad day for the United States.”

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