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W.H. Denies Trump Joked About Killing Gays, But New Yorker Stands by Story

W.H. Denies Trump Joked About Killing Gays, But New Yorker Stands by Story

White House Denies Trump Joked About Pence Wanting to Hang Gays; The New Yorker Stands By Report

The publication says over 60 people can confirm Trump's comments.

The Trump administration says a New Yorker article that claimed Donald Trump joked that his then-running mate Mike Pence wanted to hang gay people is not true.

"From start to finish the article relied on fiction rather than facts," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told Politico, adding, "The president has the highest level of respect for the vice president, and for his deeply held faith. The suggestion that he would make such outrageous remarks is offensive and untrue. The anecdote was meant to divide, not unite and is completely false."

TheNew Yorker refuses to back down from its story, written by Jane Mayer. A spokesperson emailed Politico,"The Vice-President's press office declined to participate in this story for months, after multiple requests for interviews, comment, and fact-checking." The email also stated that in the process of fact-checking the profile, The New Yorker's staff spoke to more than 60 people to confirm Trump's statement, including senior White House officials, a senior staffer in the vice president's office, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and others in the room when the president made the distasteful joke.

"We stand by the story," magazine representatives asserted.

The vice president's office also released a statement denying the story, but not specifically Trump's joke.

"Articles like this are why the American people have lost so much faith in the press," Alyssa Farah, Pence's press secretary, said in a statement. "The New Yorker piece is filled with unsubstantiated, unsourced claims that are untrue and offensive."

The profile not only underscored Pence's contempt for LGBT people and their rights, but also included disparaging quotes from the vice president's brother, Gregory Pence.

"Mike burned a lot of bridges. ... He upset a lot of his backers. It was partly because of immaturity, but he really was kind of full of shit," Gregory Pence told The New Yorker.

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