Mike Pence Calls Allegations Donald Trump’s Modeling Agency Broke Immigration Laws a “Sidebar Issue”

Former models told Mother Jones they worked for the agency illegaly.

Yesterday, Mother Jones reported that three former models employed by Donald Trump’s modeling agency worked in the United States illegally. The bombshell allegations from this investigation, which include the claim that Trump Model Management even encouraged models to lie to customs officials about their visits, flies in the face of the GOP nominee’s tough stance on immigration, which is hard line despite Trump’s recent vacillations. They also appear the same week Trump will go to Mexico to speak to the country’s president and deliver a speech his campaign says will clarify his position on immigration once and for all.

But according to Trump’s vice presidential pick Mike Pence, the issues concerning a Trump business allegedly skirting immigration laws aren’t even worth discussing. When asked about the Mother Jones report on CNN Wednesday morning, Pence immediately deflected, describing the apparent hypocrisy as a “sidebar issue.”

“I am very confident that this business, like the other Trump businesses, has conformed to the laws of this country,” Pence told Alisyn Camerota. “These sidebar issues that come up, his business enterprise can address those and I’m confident they’ll address them forthrightly.”


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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