The White House claimed that world leaders applauded Vice President Mike Pence while speaking at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend when he passed along greetings from President Donald Trump, but widely circulated videos from the address tell a very different story.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who attended the conference when Pence was speaking, confirmed that the crowd remained silent after Pence paused for applause for several seconds.
“I was there. The silence was deafening,” Sen. Whitehouse tweeted.
I was there. The silence was deafening. https://t.co/bCToaN4JLz
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) February 17, 2019
But the Trump White House’s official transcript of Pence’s remarks claimed that he received “(Applause)” after mentioning Trump, reports Newsweek.
The White House prepared remarks for Mike Pence at MSC shows that he should expect applause. But clearly the audience was not cooperative. As Ian Bremmer said they responded with deafening silence. pic.twitter.com/4eqZHPuDyk
— Chen Weihua (@chenweihua) February 18, 2019
Newsweek notes that the White House’s transcript also differs slightly from the speech Pence gave at the conference.
In the televised address, Pence told the crowd: “I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.”
But the White House account had Pence saying: “To them and to all of you, it’s my great honor to speak to you today, on behalf of a champion of freedom and a champion of a strong national defense, the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause).”
The vice president was at the conference to attend the inaugural John McCain Dissertation Award Ceremony, which paid tribute to the late senator who died in August 2018 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.
Here’s video proof that Pence’s remarks were greeted with complete silence:
Speaking to a security conference in Munich, Mike Pence tells the audience he brings greetings from President Trump…and not a single person claps as he appears stunned by the awkward silence. pic.twitter.com/ZUJKAoRqfJ
— GuardiansOfDemocracy (@Guardemocracy) February 16, 2019
In his speech, Pence took several opportunities to tout Trump’s presidency as “remarkable” and his administration’s foreign policies as “extraordinary.”
“And so, under President Donald Trump’s leadership, America is leading the free world once again,” Pence said. “Thank you for the honor of participating in this important event. And thank you for this opportunity to reflect on the progress that we’ve made and the ties that unite freedom-loving people everywhere.”