Former vice president Mike Pence dismissed news reports Monday that he had filed to run for the presidency in 2024, blaming a prankster for the buzz.
News outlets had publicized a misleading Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing from a "Mike Richard Pence" as evidence Pence was running.
The filing listed an address in Indiana, Pence's home state, and designated a political campaign committee called "Mike Pence for President."
In the past, Pence has listed his name as Michael Pence in FEC filings, Fox News reported.
A spokesman for Pence poured cold water on the 2024 rumors, suggesting someone had "pranked" the media.
"Former Vice President Mike Pence did not file to run for President today,” Devin O’Malley tweeted.
While he may not have filed yet, Pence has given plenty of signals that he has his eyes on the White House, conspicuously distancing himself from Trump, the frontrunner in a field of one, over the January 6th Capitol riot.
In a new memoir and in media interviews, Pence has portrayed himself as a principled conservative who withstood pressure from Trump to disrupt the "peaceful transfer of power."
“I’ll always believe that I did my duty that day, by God’s grace, under the Constitution, and upheld the peaceful transfer of power. But I was angry," he told Fox News. "I was angry about our difference that day, and I was also angry at what I saw."
Pence has slyly hinted that Republicans have "better choices" than Trump, who declared his candidacy in November while under criminal investigation by the Biden administration.
While it's very early, Pence typically polls in third place, trailing Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R), hailed by some as the Republican party's future. Like Pence, DeSantis hasn't declared a bid either but has sent clear signals of intent.
If he does run, Pence could be facing a potentially crowded field of candidates, including Trump, DeSantis, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The January 6th committee last week pushed Biden's Justice Department to bring criminal charges for "insurrection" against Trump, who said the move would only strengthen him.
"These folks don't get it that when they come after me, the people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger," he said.