2020 Election
August 6, 2017 12:06 PM EDT

Vice President Mike Pence pushed back against a report quietly laying the groundwork for a presidential run in 2020, calling the allegations “categorically false.”

He released a statement Sunday following a New York Times report that he was considering his own presidential bid in the 2020 race.

“The American people know that I could not be more honored to be working side by side with a president who is making America great again,” Pence said in a statement released Sunday morning. “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”

Earlier this weekend, the Times reported on possible quiet attempts by Republicans to run for president in 2020, regardless of whether or not Trump tries to seek a second term. Titled “Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow,” and containing interviews with over 75 Republicans at every level of party leadership, the article notes that “Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that Republicans joke that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.”

White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway also rebuked the claims about Pence’s political aspirations Sunday, calling it “complete fiction” — and adding that Trump has every intention of serving two presidential terms.

“It is absolutely true that the vice president is getting ready for 2020 — for reelection as vice president,” Conway said on ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos.

This is the second time in a week the Trump administration has unequivocally denied reports in the New York Times.

The paper reported on Aug. 1 that the Department of Justice would soon begin investigating affirmative action policies to discern if they discriminated against white students, citing a document the Times obtained asking for lawyers who are interested in working on this topic. The DOJ issued a statement one day later denying the report, and explaining that the listing was for a holdover 2015 complaint filed by a coalition of Asian American associations.

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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com.

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