Wednesday 25 April 2018

Mike Pence refuses to answer questions about media ban or marriage equality as Varadkar attends breakfast meeting

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is greeted by US Vice-President Mike Pence and wife Karen at a breakfast event at the Vice-President's Residence in Washington DC, USA. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is greeted by US Vice-President Mike Pence and wife Karen at a breakfast event at the Vice-President's Residence in Washington DC, USA. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets US Vice President Mike Pence
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Vice President Mike Pence refused to answer questions about his media ban or marriage equality when he met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today.

Mr Pence ignored questions from the media as he and his wife Karen welcomed Mr Varadkar to his official residence in The Naval Observatory in Washington D.C.

The Taoiseach also did not respond when he was asked if he would raise marriage equality with the Vice President.

Mr Pence broke with a long held tradition this year and insisted that the Vice President’s St Patrick’s Day breakfast be held behind closed doors with no access to the media.

Traditionally, the annual meeting can be recorded and reported on for the public.

The Taoiseach is one of very few openly gay world leaders and Mr Pence is a social conservative politician who has been criticised for his stance on LGBT rights.

Mr Varadkar has said he would have preferred the meeting to be held in public.

However, he added that the private meeting may allow the two politicians have a “frank conversation”.

Sources in the Vice President’s Office said Mr Pence has held his recent meetings with world leaders behind closed doors.

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