2018 Olympian Adam Rippon has 'no interest' in fight with VP Mike Pence
Figure skater Adam Rippon insists he has no interest in "picking a fight" with Vice President Mike Pence, who has been chosen by the White House to lead the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics.
He's not backing away from his beliefs, though.
The 28-year-old Rippon, who is openly gay, recently criticized Pence's highly visible role in the Pyeongchang Games during an interview with USA Today . Pence has been considered an opponent of the LGBT community after he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as governor of Indiana.
Critics of the legislation claim it encourages discrimination against gay people.
"I don't think he has a real concept of reality," Rippon told the newspaper. "To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he's a devout Christian man is completely contradictory. If he's OK with what's being said about people and Americans and foreigners and about different countries that are being called 'shitholes,' I think he should really go to church."
Rippon's criticism of Pence drew a sharp rebuke from his press secretary, Alyssa Farah, who called some of his statements "totally false" and that they had "no basis in fact."
On Monday, Rippon told reporters on a conference call that the quick response from Pence's office surprised him, but he was glad his concerns as an athlete and American citizen had been heard.
"Obviously yes, it surprised me. It surprised me a lot," he said, "but I'm glad. I'm glad my voice has been kind of heard. I mean, I was surprised, but I don't think it was a bad thing."
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