The Washington Post hosted a wide-ranging event on all things space on Tuesday, October 23rd. Vice President Mike Pence headlined the event, discussing his role in championing Space Force as chairman of the National Space Council, the Trump administration’s initiative to create a new military branch to combat interstellar threats, in a one-on-one interview with the Post’s Robert Costa. The event also included panels featuring NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Rep. Don Beyer, Bill Nye of “Science Guy” fame, Ellen Stofan, Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and former astronauts Sandra Magnus, Chris Ferguson, Victor Glover, Leland Melvin, and Nicole Stott.
Pence first commented on the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi saying it was an “Assault on a free and independent press, and our administration is determined to use all means at our disposal to get to the bottom of it. President Trump has already expressed his concern that there have been lies, there has been deception. He dispatched the Secretary of State to the region early on, and the Director of the CIA is there in Turkey now reviewing the evidence. We are going to follow the facts, were going to demand that those responsible are held accountable. Once we have all the facts, President Trump will the decision based upon the values of the American people and our vital national interests.”
Great discussion with @costareports at the @WashingtonPost’s #Transformers Space event about the #SpaceForce. We’re going to protect American interests in space & ensure America remains as dominant in Outer Space militarily as we are here on Earth. pic.twitter.com/kTmKYWSoxa
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 23, 2018
Space Force, the President’s initiative to develop a sixth military branch focused on space defense which is led by Pence, was the main focus of the interview. Pence suggested that the idea had broad bipartisan support and said that, “While America continues to lead in technology, in innovation, and in military strength, in terms of organizational structure this is what our competitors are already doing, and the President is determined to make sure that America leads in space as well.”
You can watch a replay of Post Live’s Transformers: Space event here.