Donald Trump throws running mate Mike Pence under the campaign bus during town hall debate

When Donald Trump chose Vladimir Putin over his running mate, Mike Pence

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 10, 2016 2:56AM (EDT)

Mike Pen (AP)
Mike Pen (AP)

During last Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “small and bullying leader” who helped prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

But in Sunday's second presidential face-off between GOP nominee Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, he blatantly threw his running mate under the bus.

After a weekend of rumors of discord on the Republican ticket following the release of leaked audio of Trump bragging that he is a sexual predator, the beleaguered businessman was quick to push back against his running mate's insistence that a Trump administration would be tougher on Putin than a Clinton one.

“He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree,” Trump said when moderator Martha Raddatz reminded him that Pence had said last week that "provocations need to be met with American strength, and if Russia continues to be involved along with the Syrian forces, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime."

Watch Trump throw his running mate under the bus below:

Will Pence stay on the ticket after Trump picked Putin over him?

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Mike Pence Syria Video