Democrats calling on VP Pence to reimburse taxpayers for trip to Colts game

Vice President Mike Pence, front center, stands during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) – A group of house Democrats are calling on Vice President Mike Pence to pay taxpayers back for his trip to and early exit from the Colts game earlier this month. Pence walked out of that game at Lucas oil Stadium right after the national anthem.

In the letter, it claims the move by the VP was a “premeditated act conducted solely for the purpose of generating publicity.” It also is asking for the Trump-Pence re-election campaign to reimburse the taxpayer money spent on the trip.  Pence was in town for the ceremony to honor Peyton Manning, but instead walked out of the game after several San Francisco 49er players knelt during the national anthem.

The letter claims that Pence not only knowingly planned the departure but fully expected to leave the game. It says that Pence’s staff told pool reporters to stay in their vehicles in case of an early departure, which is not typical protocol. Five Democrats signed the letter.

The vice president has said he left because he will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem.

President Trump tweeted that he told the vice president to leave if any players knelt during the anthem. A CNN report estimated that Pence’s travel to and from Indiana cost taxpayers about $242,500 for the use of Air Force 2.  That number does not include the cost of Secret Service or advance staff.