Mike Pence Supports Adam Rippon, Gay Olympic Skater Who Refused A Meeting

Mike Pence seeks to reassure allies on North Korean nuclear threat

While speaking with USA Today Sports last month, the athlete criticized Pence's stance on the LGBT community.

U.S. Olympian Adam Rippon, an openly gay figure skater, turned down a request from Vice President Mike Pence to meet, USA Today reports. On Friday, before he attends the Olympic opening ceremony, Pence will visit a memorial for 46 South Korean sailors killed in 2010 in the sinking of a warship that Seoul blamed on a North Korean torpedo attack. "I'm not buying it".

Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, quickly released a statement in response to Rippon's remarks. "Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the USA athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang".

Pence, concerned with Rippon's criticism, had his staff contact the US Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two. Pence arrived in South Korea on Thursday as head of the USA delegation to the Games.

Rippon told Brennan in January that he would not consider meeting with Pence before his events, but might do so when he is finished on the ice. But I don't think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up.

US Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday the United States wants to peacefully dismantle North Korea's nuclear program but warned Pyongyang not to underestimate US military strength or resolve.

Rippon, the 2016 United States men's figure skating champion was selected to his first Olympic team in January after coming in fourth at the U.S. national championships.

After CNN also published a report of the alleged meeting, Jarrod Agen, the vice president's communications director, disputed USA Today's reporting saying it is "false and should be corrected".

Rippon had said he'd rather not meet with Pence during the meet-and-greet between the official delegation and U.S. Olympians ahead of the opening ceremony.

In the USA Today interview, Rippon said he "would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren't a friend of a gay person but that they think that they're sick". 'I wouldn't go out of my way to meet somebody like that'.

Rippon, however, made clear that he would be willing to meet with Pence at some time after his competition.

According to Snopes, Pence has never publicly advocated for LGBTQ conversion therapy.

That record includes a statement on the website he used while running for Congress in 2000 that read "resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior" - a statement some interpret as a call for funding of gay conversion therapy. When the issue was raised during the vice presidential campaign, Pence's then-press secretary, Mark Lotter, denied it outright.

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