-- Mike Pence is not planning a 2020 run for the Oval Office, despite what The New York Times is reporting -- so says the vice president's chief of staff and press secretary.
Pence press secretary Marc Lotter tweeted that such a claim is merely "wishful thinking."
"Claims @VP preparing for 2020 run are ridiculous #FakeNews and nothing more than wishful thinking by New York Times," Lotter tweeted Saturday.
Chief of staff Nick Ayers, who was sworn in by Pence in a ceremony late last month, tweeted that the New York Times published a "total lie in #fakenews article. Said I've 'signaled to multiple donors @VP wants to be ready for 2020.'"
Ayers continued in a subsequent tweet, "...Yet they are unable to name one donor that has ever heard me say that...because I haven't. #shameful #fakenews."
According to the New York Times article, published Saturday, "multiple advisers to Mr. Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not."
The article continues, "Though it is customary for vice presidents to keep a full political calendar, he has gone a step further, creating an independent power base, cementing his status as Mr. Trump’s heir apparent."