Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), in an interview with a conservative radio host, denied knowing anything about a state-run news site he reportedly planned to start.
Pence’s denial comes after the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence planned to start “Just IN,” a state-run news site staffed by Pence press officials.
The news site, according to documents, would compete with independent news organizations on news about Pence’s administration and offer pre-written stories to local news organizations.
“As governor, I can assure you that [the plan] did not meet my expectations and if this website doesn’t meet my expectations of respecting the role of a free and independent press, I will reject it,” Pence said during an interview with Greg Garrison’s radio show on WIBC-FM Wednesday.
Pence said he learned about the memo for the news site from press reports on Monday.
“I’m asking all those questions, Greg,” Pence said. “I frankly learned about the memo from press reports late Monday. Using terms like news service, like news outlet, it’s just not appropriate.”
The idea for the site was widely criticized and Pence has had to perform damage control ever since it was publicized.
On Tuesday, Pence said reports about the Just In were a mischaracterization.
“Reports that this was intended to be a news agency, I think just represent an understandable misunderstanding based on some internal communications that I read about in the press,” Pence said.