"Mike’s presence in the meeting [today] is an indication of the role Mike will play," said an aide. "I think you will see Mike having a very active role as a liaison on Capitol Hill with both Leader [Mitch] McConnell and with Speaker [Paul] Ryan."
Trump and Pence are meeting with Ryan and McConnell on Capitol Hill today to discuss how they can hit the ground running after inauguration. Pence, the current governor of Indiana, spent twelve years in Congress, which was part of what the Trump campaign found so appealing while vetting him as a possible running mate.
Trump aides told ABC News that Trump sees Pence as a "key partner" and wanted him present at the planning meeting. They said Americans will see "a lot of familiar faces in the days and weeks and months to come," but insisted Trump's had been an outsider campaign, and that it would be "foolish" to assume the new government would be made up of just Washington insiders.
On the campaign trail, Pence often brought up his experience in Congress, joking, "I often tell people that if I only had 12 years left to live, I'd want to spend them on Capitol Hill, because those were the longest 12 years of my life."
Pence also spent a significant amount of time reaching out to members of Congress, meeting privately with sitting senators and House Speaker Ryan on several occasions during the campaign to ask for support.
Pence is now reaching out to well-known Democrats, including both Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Pence served in the House with Speaker Pelosi and he said the two are "on friendly terms."
Pence aides did not reveal the bulk of what was said yesterday during the first transition meetings in New York, which lasted more than 10 hours.
"They were private transition meetings, but the governor is thrilled," an aide said. "He's excited, nothing but positive energy and momentum internally."
Pence will continue to serve as governor of Indiana until Jan. 9, when Governor-elect Eric Holcomb will be inaugurated.