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Pence gets silence after bringing ‘greetings’ from Trump to Munich

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Vice President Mike Pence was met with several beats of awkward silence on Friday when he mentioned President Donald Trump during a speech at the Munich Security Conference, which featured a host of world leaders and European allies.

Pence paused for applause after praising Trump for his purported efforts to “strengthen America’s military might and to strengthen the leadership of the free world.”

“I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump,” Pence said. The audience didn’t make a sound.

Pence was speaking at the conference’s John McCain Dissertation Award ceremony, named after the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a vehement critic of Trump.

Read more: 12 times Trump provoked a backlash with the US military and veterans in 2018

In a second speech on Saturday, Pence again brought greetings from Trump to the conference — and this time was met with polite applause.

The Munich Security Conference is an annual meeting that has taken place since the Cold War, in which leaders address major foreign policy challenges.

But Trump has been viewed by such leaders as hostile to the goals of strengthening a liberal world order. The conference report made note of such tensions, calling out Trump for his frequent praise of dictators and his constant disparagement of global alliances such as NATO.

“Moreover, the US effort to rally ‘the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order’ and to oppose authoritarian great powers would be far more credible if President Trump and his administration did not display an irritating enthusiasm for strongmen across the globe,” the report said.

It continued: “This disdain for international institutions and agreements has repeatedly pitted the US against its major allies in recent years.”

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