Pence's national anthem walkout likely cost more than $243K - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pence's national anthem walkout likely cost more than $243K

INDIANAPOLIS (CNN) - Vice President Mike Pence's brief trip to an NFL game Sunday likely cost taxpayers a pretty penny - $243,000 to be exact.

And that only takes into account the flight.

Advance personnel, Secret Service and support on the ground will all add to that number.

Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indiana to attend Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. But he left abruptly because some of the players knelt during the national anthem.

Pence tweeted he didn't want to "dignify" the protest.

No players from the Colts knelt, but several from the 49ers did.

The vice president had earlier tweeted he was, "Looking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning."

Manning's jersey was retired during a ceremony at halftime, but by then Pence was long gone.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had asked Pence to leave the game if there was a demonstration, and said he was proud of the VP for choosing to do so.

Monday morning, Trump was back on Twitter defending the trip as "long planned" and saying Pence was receiving "great praise." He did not indicate where from where that praise had come.

While the trip was planned ahead of time, it also appears the premature exit from the game was pre-planned. Journalists traveling in the vice president's motorcade were told, "there may be an early departure from the game."

After leaving the game, Pence flew to Los Angeles for a political fundraiser.

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